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Full text of "In the wake of war; a tale of the South under carpet-bagger administration"

THE UNIVERSITY OF 

NORTH CAROLINA 

AT CHAPEL HILL 

LIBRARY 




PURCHASED ON THE 

DR. AND MRS. 

JOSEPH EZEKIEL POGUE 

ENDOWMENT FUND 



:iATION. 



(^TIONS. 

e strictly enforced hy 

[. Association, their 
Iren of deceased meni- 
bntitled to the use of 



p use of this Library 
fe from their parent, 
guardian or employer. 

Art III. Three hooks will be allowed to members' 
families, and one to an apprentice, per week to be kept 
out two weeks. Then a renewal will be t^ranted for oTie 
week, if desirable. 

Art. IV. If a book is injured or lost, the person to 
whom it is charjjed will be held responsible. 

Art. V. If books are retained lonj^er than the time 
specified, a fine of three cents a week will be exacted 
and must be paid before any more books are delivered to 
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^fsr In no case can the al>ove privileges be transferred. 



AK/u^?cf327 



(\ 



THE UNIVERSITY OF 

NORTH CAROLINA 

LIBRARY 




THE WILMER COLLECTION 

OF CIVIL WAR NOVELS 

PRESENTED BY 

RICHARD H. WILMER, JR. 



IN THE WAKE OF WAR 



IN THE 

WAKE OF WAR 



A Tale of the South 
under Carpet-Bagger Administration 



By 






Verne S. V^im, .# / 






CHICAGO NEW YORK 

George M. Hill Company 

MDCCCC 



Copyright, 1900, 

by 
Verne S. Pease 



TO 
GEORGE HENRY PEASE 

AND 

ESTHER WOOD PEASE 

My Father and Mother 



Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2010 with funding from 

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 



http://www.archive.org/details/inwakeofwartaleoOOpeas 



CONTENTS 

Chapter Page 

Prologue . . . . .11 

I An Army op Peace ... 35 

II Home Again. . . . .43 

III The Abomination of Desolation . 51 

IV Rebuilding Begins . . 58 
V The New Man . . . .67 

VI The New Man in Action . . 72 
VII The Old, Old Story . . 82 
VIII Orders Is Orders ... 90 
IX Ingratitude, Black Ingratitude . 1)7 
X Wherein Instructions Season Jus- 
tice .... 101 
XI One of a Type Almost Extinct . 117 
XII Corn Bread and Sweat of the Brow 125 

XIII The Glorious Climate of Canada . 139 

XIV The Sight of a Boom Town . 154 
XV " Forty Acres AND A Mule " . 173 

XVI A Man without a Country . 1S2 
XVII Shows Again That Peace Hath Her 

Victories . . . .196 
XVin In Which Trouble Threatens 209 
XIX Sunrise and Pistols . . 224 
XX Genius Is Recognized . . 242 
XXI Which Treats op Meeting and Part- 
ing 249 

XXII In Which History Is Made . . 258 

XXIII Some Reasonable Conclusions 267 

XXIV The Men with Carpet-Bags , 273 
XXV A Business Administration . . 278 

XXVI When Rogues Fall Out. . 290 

XXVII The Feeedman Becomes a Striker 310 

7 



_8_ Contents 

XXVIII An Explanation . . .163 
XXIX Which Shows That Although the 
Ethiopian Can Not Change His 
Skin, the Caucasian May Change 
His Color .... 320 
XXX What Eli Saw and Heard . . 325 
XXXI The Secret Conclave . . .334 

XXXII A Mighty Power Comes, but Does 

Not Appear .... 342 

XXXIII In Which Eli Mysteriously Disap- 

pears .... 352 

XXXIV In Which the Pursuits op Peace Are 

Exemplified .... 357 
XXXV The Secret Order Takes Form, but 

Not a Name ... 362 

XXXVI In Which the Doctrine op the Sad- 

DUCEES Is Utterly Conpounded 366 
XXXVII Vanity Fair, Done in Colors . 376 
XXXVIII In Which the * * Extends Its 

Benepicent Operations . . 386 
XXXIX Another Glimpse at Home Lipe 391 

XL Another Abuse Is Corrected . 398 
XLI In Which Kosciusko Is Threatened 

avith Great Prosperity . 403 
XLII Which Treats op Business Methods 

UNDER Advanced Civilization . 410 
XLin In Which Two Conservative Gentle- 
men Are Instructed in Business 
Methods , . . .416 

XLIV The New Citizen Demonstrates His 

Prerogative . . . 422 

XLV In Which Mystic Den Meets a Foe 426 

XLV[ Uncle Phil's Last Baptizing . 432 

XLVII A War- Widow . . . .437 



IN THE WAKE OF WAR 



PROLOGUE 



THE PLAIN OF TEMPE 



A Bit of Local History with a Touch of 
Classic Lore 

THE Plain of Tempe has been a summering 
place for a dozen families from the Great 
Central Basin of Tennessee, since a time in the 
history of the State when the red man vacated its 
forests on his westward drift to extinction. 

In the first years of the present century it was 
the location of an Indian agency in charge of that 
incomparable patriot and scholar, Colonel Retm-n 
J. Meigs. Here he built his rude log cabin, and 
divided his time between the management of the 
Cherokees and the study of Greek Classics. 

Upon the rough shelf above his desk stood 
a row of books containing Herodotus, Homer, 
Thucydides and other classics, in the original. 
An adventurer from the distant settlements noticed 
these books, and turning to Colonel Meigs, asked: 
" Do you speak Greek, Colonel ? " 

"Yes, sir," answered the Colonel. " I speak 
Greek and also Cherokee. I dwell among the 
living and the dead, but I prefer the dead." 

The great scraggy hill to the north he called 
Mount Olympus ; to the south arose the rude form 
of an ancient mountain, which he named Mount 
Ossa. Stretching between these was the beauti- 



12 In THE Wake OF War 

fully wooded Plain of Tempe; and, through it 
flowed an opal stream of freestone water, over 
which one could easily leap, and this, to complete 
the metaphor, he called the river Peneus. 

By a call upon his fancy, he named the gushing 
chalybeate spring that burst forth from a precipi- 
tous bluff at the base of Ossa, Aganippe; although 
it is recorded that he never spoke of it without 
easing his conscience with an apology for the 
violence that tore its healing flood from Mount 
Helicon, and transferred it to Mount Ossa. It 
is, indeed, a miniature reproduction of historic 
ground, the semblance to this point existing in 
quite reasonable fact; and, while other like places 
have been made to serve barbarous personal vanity 
or business advantage by bearing up the name of 
some short-pedigreed aristocracy, or of a brand of 
hams or make of liquor, this has survived the 
commercial march of modern civilization, and to 
this day stands for all the beauty of song and 
story that first suggested it. 

Here the redoubtable Colonel sang with Homer; 
declaimed with Demosthenes; speculated with 
Socrates and Plato; studied .with Herodotus and 
Xenophon, and treated with, and finally van- 
quished, the barbarians, — an ideal life for one 
like Colonel Meigs, who adored giants dead, and 
abhorred pigmies living. 

After the Indians had followed the receding 
west into the vast, unexplored region beyond the 
Mississippi River, and Colonel Meigs had aban- 
doned his squatterarchy, Howard Grayson and 
Mortimer Lewis, two prosperous planters, had a 
survey made of five thousand acres of land, em- 

RBG 
Nell 



Prologue _13_ 

bracing Mounts Olympus and Ossa and the Plain 
of Tempe, which they entered in the Public Lands 
Office, and for which, in due time, a grant was 
issued to them, bearing the great seal of the State 
of Tennessee and the unique signature of John 
Sevier, Governor. These gentlemen, who were 
owners of large plantations in the Great Central 
Basin, set about building cabins in the Plain, 
where, with their families and friends, they might 
pass the heated term in the cool, fresh air that 
came down from the verdure-clad hills surround- 
ing. To this spot every summer since, save the 
four years of civil war, this genial company or 
their descendants have gone for comfort and 
recreation. 

The Plain has been, through the several genera- 
tions of occupants, a resort after the simple and 
happy fashion of that most unique and ideal civili- 
zation, the Ante-Bellum South. 

A row of modest log houses facing on either 
side of the Peneus served for the owners and their 
guests, while back near the mountains, ranged in 
irregular lines, were the quarters of the negi-oes. 
On a hillock near by the houses was the Assembly, 
a large shed-roofed affair with open sides, a floor 
for dancing or other social entertainment through 
the week, in which were arranged rude benches of 
a Sunday for worship. 

Each summer, in the good old time, after the 
wheat and oats were harvested and corn laid by, 
the Graysons and Lewises and their invited guests 
set forth for the Plain. The families headed the 
procession in carriages, followed by wagons bear- 
ing servants and provisions. They formed a 



14 In the Wake of war 

veritable caravan as they moved up the turnpike 
to the winding roads of the hill country. At 
night when the hills were reached, where hostelries 
were not maintained, they camped out in true 
cavalcade style. 

The names of the persons composing these 
parties were not so unknown as to require em- 
blazonment on carriage doors or horse trappings. 
All were possessed of sufficient wealth, yet there 
was no guise that could be construed into a display 
of ready money; nor was there any provision, as 
at too many modern summer resorts, for the exhi- 
bition of fine millinery or the physical charms of 
the young ladies. These companies were made 
up of happy, congenial folk on pleasure bent, sup- 
plied with plain comforts and possessed of bound- 
less hospitality. 

The camp for the summer of 1860 was set, and 
a large and happy company had been gathered. 
The usual round of dancing, rambles, excursions, 
and picnics was on. All worries and apprehen- 
sions apparently had been left behind on entering 
the Plain. But Colonel Rodeny Grayson and 
Major Walker Lewis, grandsons and representa- 
tives of the original founders of the resort, were 
frequently in private and serious conversation. 
The light and easy talk of insurrection by politi- 
cians and warm-blooded young men, contrary to 
their hope and expectation, had changed to sullen 
mutterings that threatened any day to fulminate 
and plunge the South, not into passive secession, 
but into aggressive civil war. 

Each had won his rank and title in the Mexican 
war, and foresaw with the divination of experi- 



Prologue jS^ 

ence the horrible consequences of rebellion. To 
them war meant more and other things than the 
glories sung by hireling poets. It meant the 
"science of destruction" — the first and most 
complete human science, because it has always 
lain nearest the human heart. 

Contrary to custom, a trusty negro was sent 
each day to the nearest post office for letters and 
newspapers. One day early in July the batch 
of letters for Colonel Grayson contained one with 
the postmark of Claytown, Ohio. After glancing 
over the other letters, that his movements might 
not seem precipitate, he excused himself from the 
company and asked Major Lewis to join him for 
a walk. When they were beyond the hearing of 
the group he said: "I see, Walker, in looking 
over my mail that it contains a letter from my 
brother, or as you know, my half-brother, Felix 
Grayson. It must be important, at least he must 
think it important, or he would not address me; 
for, as you remember, he went back North some- 
what vexed at me because I would not consent to 
his selling the mulatto girl, Kene, whom he 
claimed, and somewhat fairly so, over and above 
his interest in the estate of our father." 

"What's the matter with Felix, now? Do 
you think he wants the nigger girl ? " asked Major 
Lewis. 

"No, I reckon not; I paid him for her at the 
time the estate was settled. The only negro I 
ever bought, and I bought her to keep Felix from 
hawking her about the slave market." 

"Well, Rodeny, you're becoming confidential 
as you approach matmity. I never heard before 



16 IN THE WAKE OF WAR 

that you bought the girl. What claim had Felix 
on her, anyway?" 

"Consanguinity, Major, 1 blush to say. You 
certainly have remarked the semblance of fea- 
tures. He wanted to get her out of the country, 
urged the claim of nature, and then made secret 
arrangements to send her to the block in Mem- 
phis. By accident I heard of his plans and then 
I paid him off. He took the money readily 
enough, but went away somewhat disgusted with 
my puritanical ideas." 

"And all this time he was threatened with 
clerics, which afterward developed. Ah, Rodeny, 
you know what I have always said of preachers. 
They conjure theoretical morals until they lose all 
sight of vulgar, practical decencies. But where 
is your letter? What is he preaching about 
now ? " 

"About the same old subject, abolition. When 
he would visit us, after he had gone North with 
his mother, I could notice a change of sentiment 
during his stay. He would come down a ram- 
pant abolitionist; in a few days he would think 
we ought to be paid for our slaves by the Govern- 
ment, and before he left he would be stronger in 
the belief that slavery was morally right than 
ever I was. His mother never ceased to be an 
abolitionist, but she used to insist that father sell 
his slaves and invest the proceeds elsewhere 
before emancipation should rob him of the greater 
part of his wealth. She wanted somebody else 
to lose the chattels." 

"A trifle inconsistent, I should say," observed 
the Major. "But your letter. We are growing 



Prologue J7_ 

cynical over family affairs iu the face of startling 
national issues." 

Colonel Grayson drew out the letter, and read 
as follows: — 

" Pai-sonage of First M. E. Church. 

Claytown, Ohio, July 1, 1860. 
Dear Brother : — 

My flock has given me leave of absence over next 
Sabbath and I start for Tennessee Friday morning. I 
come to prove to you that my mother and I were right 
on the old subject of controversy between us. I can 
not write more, as letters directed to any part of the 
South miscarry sometimes if they are suspiciously 
large. Please send carriage for me at the railway 
station, Manlius. Your atfectionate brother, 

Felix." 

"Flock! I don't see the necessity for having 
printed letterheads for Felix. Any one would 
know he is a preacher," said the Major, when the 
letter was read. 

' ' But do you see the drift of the letter ? He is 
taking the trouble to come down here and again 
ply the same old argument, hoping to induce me 
to sell my slaves before emancipation shall be 
accomplished. He surely must think heroic action 
is impending. I believe. Walker, the crisis is 
nearer than we have feared." 

"Possibly so. I do not think the culmination 
or fulmination will be hindered by men of Felix's 
profession. Preachers, like death, love a shining 
mark. One mighty sinner within sight of a 
church-house is worth more to them than a hun- 
dred tolerably decent ones too remote to serve as 
a horrible example. Well, Saturday will soon be 
here and we shall have to wait for Felix to tell us 



18 In the Wake of War 

what to do. Seriously, Rodeiiy, I am as anxious 
as you to know the real sentiment of the North. " 

' ' But if we learn that war threatens, what can 
we do to avert it?" asked the Colonel. 

" I can't think, unless we turn preachers and 
preach the gospel of peace. But that would do 
no good. No one would listen to us, not even 
our own sons. The young men of the South have 
got to fight. We-all have made a great mistake 
in bringing up our sons to idleness. If they were 
busy now, they would not have time to meditate 
on the glories of war. But I hope for some turn 
in affairs that will avert it. We can not have 
war, civil war. I love my rights, but I hate war 
and abhor its results, especially right here at 
home. Think of the misery! No, it can not be. 
Well, this is Thursday. We surely can wait two 
more days." 

Captain Howard Grayson, the father of Colonel 
Rodeny Grayson, was, in his day, a man of capri- 
cious matrimonial ventures. In all else he was 
regarded as a man of superior ability. In the 
course of his three score years he had three legiti- 
mate opportunities to fall in love, and accepted 
all with the ardor of a boundless heart that exe- 
crates the interposition of cool judgment. It was 
the Captain's weakness, or perhaps strength, and 
at times he found himself somewhat at variance 
with the polite society in which he moved. 

His first affair was while little more than a lad 
with Jackson's army at New Orleans, 1816. The 
woman, a beautiful French Creole, was no better 
than an adventuress. She possessed, however, the 



Prologue J9_ 

virtue of shame, often lacking in otherwise better 
persons, and refused to disgrace her duped husband 
bj going with hiui to his father's home; preferring 
to heal the wound in her remittent affections with 
a reasonable money allowance, which was her real 
purpose in ensnaring the green and impetuous 
young soldier. 

The Captain mourned sincerely for a respect- 
able time over his blighted hopes, but finally, on 
the importunity of his father, claimed residence 
at the Plain of Tempe and secured a divorce 
through the courts of the backwoods county, on 
the statutory ground of failure to remove to the 
State with him. 

He remained a recluse two years after this 
experience, for the heart mends more slowly from 
disappointment than from bereavement; and when 
his friends were all predicting that he would become 
a hermit, he fell in love impetuously and hopelessly 
with Marcella Rodeny, the plain and rather unat- 
tractive daughter of one of the best families 
in his neighborhood. But unattractive daughters 
make the best wives, and 'this proved a happy 
marriage, to which was born Rodeny Grayson, 
the present master of Elmington. Soon after 
the birth of Rodeny, Howard Grayson, the Cap- 
tain's father and the pioneer of the family in 
Tennessee, became possessed of the idea that the 
honorable succession of the name was assured and 
that nothing remained for him to do but to grow 
old and die; which he did in the course of a few 
years, but happily, not before he had left the 
mark of his probity and virtue on the character of 
the fledgling. It was well for young Rodeny 



20 In the Wake of War 

that he got his early impressions from so strong a 
moral current, for his mother died when he was 
scarce sixteen years of age, and he was left to the 
rather uncertain influence of the Captain's third 
infatuation. 

This last effort, which developed the widest 
play of romantic stratagem in his romantic career, 
sprouted, grew, and went to harvest at a church 
convention, called to prevent a threatened schism 
over the slavery question. The woman, good 
enough of her kind, belonged to the class, scanty 
in those old-fashioned times, now called " strong- 
minded." Miss Felicia Croker, of Ohio, for such 
was her name in the list of delegates, was a very 
attractive person to a man of the Captain's consti- 
tutional susceptibility. Her vigorous, combative 
nature and her buxom form had carried the flower 
of youth into cheeks of uncertain but not doubtful 
age. - To one who gave his judgment no voice in 
affairs of the heart she was irresistible, especially 
on first sight, which was always enough for the 
Captain. All else was intolerable detail to fill in 
time until the affair could be respectably cele- 
brated. This time the detail was crowded into a 
very few days, to the delight of the rampant lover, 
and the evident satisfaction of Miss Croker. 

The convention adjourned without results in the 
direction sought, but not wholly without fruit; for 
Captain Howard Grayson and Miss Felicia Croker, 
still irreconcilably at war on the subject of slavery 
as a national issue, came to terms on slavery as a 
domestic question, and went to the home of the 
again happy bridegroom as man and wife. This 
marriage, arranged in the very heat of fiery 



Prologue _2|_ 

debate, never rose above the plane of argument. 
The national issue would not remain settled above 
twentj-four hours at one time. Each day Mrs. 
Grayson felt the inward call to speak, and, as she 
mightily feared her conscience, she spake. When 
the discussion became too vehement for the Cap- 
tain, he would resolve the question into its domes- 
tic and personal elements by asking: "What 
would yon have me do, my dear? Emancipate 
all my slaves ? " And suddenly there was a calm. 

Nor was the argument confined to the home 
circle. Mrs. Grayson assailed the "twin relic" 
at the sewing circle and other social gatherings 
with the vigor and flow of color that had made 
her so attractive in the convention. Many of the 
ladies in the neighborhood thought she pressed 
her convictions with more zeal than was consist- 
ent with good breeding, and extended to her only 
such hospitality as was due the wife of the repre- 
sentative of the Grayson family. Altogether, she 
was not a success, and made the Captain as mis- 
erable as the constantly rekindling fires of his 
affection would permit him to be. 

Mrs. Grayson made frequent visits to her friends 
in the North, and on one of these occasions gave 
birth to a son, who was christened before she 
returned to the South, Felix Croker Grayson. 
Ten years later the Captain died, leaving his large 
estate to the widow, her son, and Rodeny Gray- 
son who was then an ofiicer of volunteers in the 
Mexican war. 

Such, in the rough, were the marital hazards of 
Captain Howard Grayson, and for the purposes of 
this history the details are sufiiciently prolix. The 



22 In the Wake of War 

compiler leans to a more charitable opinion of his 
misfortunes or indiscretions than the world took 
of them half a century ago. For, whatever his 
luck or precipitancy in this regard, a more devoted 
and watchful father, a more just and considerate 
neighbor and a more shrewd and far-seeing man 
of affairs would not be met in a day's journey. 
Twice he represented his district in Congress, and 
declined offers of higher positions of trust and 
honor ; while the ninety-and-nine who went not 
astray, but browsed modestly about on the weeds 
and thistles of the worn-out sheep-fold, slipped 
quietly oft" to Abraham's bosom and dropped their 
names, white and clean as flakes of virgin snow, 
into the murky waters of oblivion. Happily, the 
son Rodeny inherited all his father's good traits of 
character, which were reinforced with the con- 
stancy and single-heartedness of his mother. Of 
the boy Felix, it can be said that, up to the time 
of the Captain's death, he displayed no single 
characteristic, good or bad, that could be labelled 
Grayson ; his early predilections were a source of 
great concern and heaviness to the declining 
years of his father. 

Saturday came at last, and Uncle Phil, a trusty 
negro, was sent with team and carriage to bring 
the expected visitor from the railway station. 
About three o'clock in the afternoon he drove up 
before his master's cabin and the Rev. Felix 
Grayson alighted. The Colonel sat on the rude 
veranda awaiting the arrival, and when he saw his 
brother, walked slowly down the path to meet 
him and extended a cordial hand as he said: "I 



Prologue ^ 

am mighty glad to see jon, Brother Felix, mighty 
glad. You are welcome to the simple hospitality 
of the Plain." 

Before taking the Colonel's proffered hand, 
Felix raised both of his own hands in attitude of 
benediction, and said : "May the peace of God be 
upon this place and upon this house." Then 
taking his brother's hand he shook it heartily, and 
said, with studied deliberation: "I thank you, 
Rodeny, for this hearty welcome. I knew it 
awaited me and that you were still the same gen- 
erous brother of the old times. How natural it 
all looks here, yet how- quiet in comparison to our 
Northern resorts. Your family is all well, I 
hope ? ' ' 

' ' Yes, thank you, Felix, we are in tolerable 
health. And your mother, is she well?" 

"Very well, and sends her regards to you and 
all her friends. But since I left you, five years 
ago, there is one less to enquire after. I was sorely 
grieved over the death of your wife (he stopped 
suddenly at the sound of his cold, unfeeling words, 
but only shifted his eyes and corrected himself). 
Sister Mary, and I would have come down to 
offer my consolation, only at the time I was en- 
gaged in a blessed revival. We were fairly over- 
whelmed in a spiritual outpouring, such as one 
seldom sees. I had scarcely time to write you 
the letter, which I suppose you received." 

" I do not recall the letter, Felix, but that was 
a troubled time and I can not well remember all 
that happened." 

" You must have gotten it," continued Felix. 
" I remember so well of posting it. I suppose 



24 In the Wake of War 

Howard and jour adopted daughter, Mary Lou, 
are here. They must be nearly grown by this. " 

" Yes, they are in the Plain, bat did not ex- 
pect you so soon or they would be here to join my 
welcome. They are back near the spring with the 
company. Howard is a man grown and gives 
every promise of being a comfort to my old age. ' ' 

"Steady, I hope? " enquired Felix, with func- 
tional interest. 

' ' Of correct morals, I believe. Somewhat im- 
petuous and hasty, but no more than can be ex- 
pected from a young Grayson. There comes 
Major Lewis. He is the same warm-hearted, 
peculiar gentleman as when you last saw him. 
You surely remember him? " 

" Yery well, and I can not see that he has be- 
come shorter, or stouter or less erect." Then he 
called to the Major, who was deliberately ap- 
proaching from another part of the grounds: 
"How-do, Major Lewis. 'A thousand years are 
as one day' to you, so to speak. I can not see 
that you have changed a particle since 1 left Ten- 
nessee." 

" Thank you, sir; I don't .feel that I am yet an 
old man. IS^othing like a clear conscience. Par- 
son Felix, and no sins but my own to answer for 
— which you will remember were few." Then 
taking Felix by the hand he shook it cordially, 
while he surveyed him from head to foot. "Al- 
ways like his mother, but now her mature image," 
he said. "But I'll wager my roan filly by Cop- 
perbottom, that you can not talk with her. She 
can right now argue you to a stand-still. I hope 
she is in good health." 



Prologue 25 

" Yery good, thank God." Answered the 
young minister, with an apparent tug at his feel- 
ings, which were not always at ready command. 
" I think you know she has married again. She is 
now the wife of the Rev. Dr. Simpson, one of the 
foremost divines of our church in the North, and 
often mentioned as the next bishop for our part of 
Ohio." 

"If he will put himself in the hands of his 
wife, he will be nominated at the first caucus 
and elected on the first ballot," said the Major, 
bluntly. 3y(p. 1/7 

"Only in the work of tiie Church, Major, we 
have no caucuses, and advancement comes with 
Divine guidance," answered the minister, with 
some warmth. 

"You must pardon me, Felix, for not using the 
right word. You know I always was a blunderer 
with words. I simply was trying to express, in a 
clumsy manner, my admiration for your mother's 
superior ability. Caucus or no caucus, your step- 
father is as good as elected bishop. I will stake 
my roan filly on that, if it is proper to do so." 

"Do you choose to refresh yourself before join- 
ing the company, Felix ? No ? We will walk 
over to the spring, then," said the Colonel, be- 
lieving it time to cut off the Major, who was in 
one of his teasing moods. 

Felix Grayson, at the mature age of twenty-four, 
was a man to command notice. He was tall, 
straight, muscular — of almost athletic build — 
and carried himself with a self-possession that is^ 
generally mistaken for dignity. He had Ms- 
mother's round cheeks, rosy complexion, /knd 



!i « 



26 In the Wake of War 

strong features. The casual observer would have 
put him down for a superior man in abilities and 
character; but the student of physiognomy would 
have halted his judgment before the restless gray 
eye, that seemed to be on the lookout for surprises. 
It had a venturesome snap, but seemed to turn on 
himself as if watching an ever-impending blunder 
or over-play. 

During the conversation in the afternoon it was 
disclosed that Felix could remain at the Plain only 
until Monday morning. The Colonel pleaded, and 
Major Lewis pressed the point of hospitality that 
allowed no guest to depart under a full week, but 
to no result. The minister protested that he could 
not remain longer from his field of work, as con- 
tinued absence might require explanations to his 
"flock." 

"And, Rodeny, " said he, "I want a little pri- 
vate conversation with you to-night, because that 
which I have to say is purely secular and hardly a 
fit subject for the Sabbath-day." 

"After supper, Felix," replied the Colonel, 
"our friends will excuse us for a bit." 

At supper that evening, the- Major, Mrs. Lewis, 
and their son. Manning, were guests. It seemed 
almost a family reunion. Howard Grayson and 
Manning Lewis were young men of twenty and 
inseparable friends, as their fathers had been for 
forty years. They were about the average young 
gentlemen of the Ante-Bell um South: genteel, well- 
educated, lovers of field sports and attached to 
their section and its traditions. They had not 
reached the age of reflection and inquiry; they 
took things as they found them, because these 



Prologue Z7 

things had continued through a respectable space 
of time and must be right. 

Both young men were filled with martial spirit 
and hoped eagerly for war. They had acquii-ed, 
partly through their own zealous imaginings, exag- 
gerated ideas of the dangers that threatened South- 
ern traditions and civilization. What actually did 
happen they never once foresaw. When the con- 
versation took a favorable turn, Howard asked : 
' ' Are the Yankees talking of war, Uncle Felix ? ' ' 

' ' Not so much as they are talking of the Con- 
stitution and the Union," answered the parson. 
'' The abolition sentiment is gaining every day — 
not gaining in numbers, for as far as I can see 
there has been only one feeling since I have lived 
in the North, but the different factions are becom- 
ing united. The people there don't talk much 
about war, but I believe they would go to war to 
enforce their principles." 

"Enforce their principles on others. I reckon," 
said Major Lewis. 

"But they are not much fighters, are they?" 
asked Howard, and not waiting for an answer, 
for the question was well settled in his own mind, 
he continued: "They are better traders than fight- 
ers. I was reading only a few days back, in a 
history of the Revolutionary War, that the strong- 
est Tories in the country were the merchants of 
New England. The author said they opposed 
war from fear that it would injure trade; but all 
that changed when England taxed their goods. 
Then they got crazy and tried to make tea of the 
Atlantic Ocean. Perhaps they have as good 
principles now as^ they had then." 



28 In the Wake of War 

' ' Yes, that was the unholy influence of com- 
merce," said Felix. "And I am told that the 
traders and financiers of Boston and New York 
would be strongly opposed to war now on the 
same ground." 

"Trade is necessary with our busy, compli- 
cated civilization, and I have often regretted that 
the South has given so little attention to it; but 
at the same time it is utterly destructive of princi- 
ples and patriotism," said Major Lewis. 

"Well, then, I reckon they will fight to defend 
their money," persisted Howard. 

" I hope and pray that they will not be called 
upon to fight at all," said the Colonel. 

"Amen!" responded the Reverend Felix, in 
good Methodist time. 

' ' And I hope not, and Mrs. Lewis prays the 
same way, don't you, my dear? " said the Major, 
who had fully recovered from the abnormally 
serious strain under the influence of which he had 
spoken of trade without jesting. 

As they parted after supper Mrs. Lewis asked: 
"Shall we have preaching in the Assembly 
to-morrow, Colonel Grayson?" 

" Yes, Madam. Mr. Sexton can not come, but 
I spoke to Uncle Phil early in the week, and he 
has promised to give us another of his sermons, 
one of his best." 

' ' I overheard him practicing on it out back of 
the barns this morning right early," said the 
Major. "He said he was ' projeckin' roun' in 
hisself to see if the sperit war thar',' and I think 
he found it all right. Felix, I am charged, un- 
justly I protest, with bearing malice to the cloth, 



Prologue _29 

but there is one preacher I love and like to listen 
to. He is a slave and a nigger, but a good man," 

" What, Rodenj, do you have a negro slave to 
preach the gospel to you ? " asked Felix, with 
surprise. , 

"Sometimes," answered the Colonel, calmly, 
"Uncle Phil preaches very well, and there is not 
a holier man living. He has preached to his 
people forty years. I enjoy listening to him. 
Major Lewis, will you join Brother Felix and me 
for a walk ^ " Then in an undertone he added, 
"There is no reason why the Major should not 
participate in our conversation ? ' ' 

" Not in the least, especially as my message 
may be of advantage to him as well as to your- 
self." 

They walked back to some benches quite safely 
remote from the houses. Before taking his seat 
the Major drew some cigars from his pocket and 
offering one to the minister, said in his most 
courteous manner : ' ' Felix, for I can not call you 
Mr. Grayson, and 'Parson' is a word of reproach 
in my mouth, won't you join the Colonel and me 
in a cigar ? I remember the last time you were 
at Elmington, and that we had several pleasant 
smokes together. ' ' 

" I do not smoke any more. Major Lewis. I 
often fancy that a cigar would leave a very pleas- 
ant taste in my mouth, but in the North the 
clergy does not use the weed. We do not think 
it a sin per se, but the sentiment against it is 
strong. I know it is different down here. With 
us it is largely a matter of appearance." 

' ' Not very sound doctrine, Felix, If, with the 



30 In THE Wake OF War 

Catholics, you abstained during certain seasons to 
mortify the flesh, it would be quite a different 
affair. As for its influence, that 's a debatable 
question. For instance, when I sit and smoke 
with Mr, Sexton, who preaches here, I forget or 
excuse his poor sermons. He squares himself 
with me every Sunday evening after service, when 
ho is here, with a good cigar. ' ' 

"I will try to square myself by other means," 
said Felix. "I came down here to talk with 
Brother Rodeny on a matter of great importance 
to him, and he has seen fit to include you in the 
conversation. It is the prospective emancipation 
of the slaves. I think the day is not far distant 
when this will be done. What do the people of 
the South think of it?" 

"Oh, there are all sorts of ideas, but they all 
arrive at one conclusion, namely, that it will not 
be done. Most of us are nigger poor, bankrupt 
with niggers; and some do not care if they are 
freed, while others love the institution and believe 
in it. That is the only thing that Rodeny and I 
continually disagree about. For myself, I believe 
in negro slavery and our Southern civilization. 
Rodeny has his doubts about the former, but 
clings as tenaciously to the latter as I do. So it 
is all over this Section." 

"But has not the threatening attitude of the 
North affected the slave market ? " asked Felix. 

"We pay little heed to the market in our parts," 
answered the Major. ' ' Nobody here ever sells 
slaves, except Jonas Smith, and for the life of me 
I don't know where he disposes of the few he has 
to handle. Everybody I know hates the nigger 



Prologue 31 

trader so tarnally that he is seldom spoken to. 
You remember Mr. Raymond Hunter, who lived 
down the pike about two miles from Elmington ? 
His plantation got overstocked with slaves and he 
bought a big tract of cotton land in Arkansas, go- 
ing heavily into debt. Well, a big freshet washed 
away his first crop, and the price dropped on his 
second, ruining him. He was sold out at bank- 
rupt sale — lands first, by special request, for the 
Hunters never had sold a slave. The lands did 
not pay him out, and the negroes were taken to 
Memphis on the plea that the market was better 
there, but in fact because Mr. Hunter could not 
abide the sight of his slaves on the auction-block. 
I am told that they brought a tolerable price, but 
not enough to pay him out." 

"My purpose in coming down at this time was 
to beseech Rodeny to dispose of the bulk of his 
slave property, of course not those to whom he 
is most attached. But emancipation is surely 
coming — it's only a question of time — and the 
loss of so much property at once would be ruinous 

to you both. Youi- plantations are overstocked 

the negroes are in each other's way, why not sell 
a portion of them? " said Felix, exhibiting more 
discretion than he had done in his younger days. 

"For myself, Felix," answered the Colonel, 
"I can not sell a slave. To emancipate them 
voluntarily, and throw them upon the world would 
be a crime. My negroes can nearly all read and 
write, but they are not prepared for liberty, and 
could not become so in three generations. Our 
father never was satisfied with the institution, but 
all his intellect could not devise a solution to the 



32 In the Wake of War 

problem. Bad as he thought the system, the 
ways out looked even worse. I reckon we shall 
just have to let events shape themselves, and, if a 
change comes, shift ourselves to fit it." 

"What do you think of my advice, Major 
Lewis?" asked Felix. 

" lu results the same as your brother. I am 
satisfied, only that the negroes are getting so 
thick and trifling on my plantation that it wears 
me out to make them grow their own bread and 
meat. You will excuse me, Felix, but I think 
you are too much alarmed over the situation. A 
system so old and thoroughly established can not 
be overthrown in a day. Slavery was introduced 
into the country by New England people, and 
while they have long since abandoned it, I do not 
believe they will have the hardihood to say that 
we shall not practice it. They found the climate 
too severe for the African, sold him to us, and 
having saved themselves at our expense, will 
scarcely demand that we throw the property 
away." 

"But, Major, I can not be mistaken in the 
sentiment of the North. The clergy is a unit, 
and I am asked to preach on the subject regu- 
larly every month. You see they know that I 
was raised down here and understand the matter 
thoroughly. I have calls to preach and lecture on 
it from all over my State." 

' ' We are certainly grateful to you, Felix, for 
the warning, but you will not press us for an 
answer to-night," said the Colonel. "The pro- 
posed sale of his slaves touches the tenderest 
chords of the Southern gentleman's heart; besides, 



Prologue 33_ 

in the case of the Major and myself, there are old 
family customs and traditions. If there is noth- 
ing more to say, we will join the company for 
the evening's entertainment." 

Sunday came, and Uncle Phil gave his best 
sermon, which for spirituality was a good lesson 
for the visiting clergyman. Early Monday morn- 
ing the carriage was driven up, and Felix Grayson, 
with many and fervent calls upon fraternal good- 
will, took his departure. 



An Army of Peace 

THE old South field turnpike had thronged with 
returning grey-coats for more than a month. 
As far as the eye could reach, up and down its 
winding course, were soldiers in grey — some 
on foot, some on horses or mules, some in old, 
creaking wagons, some lying upon the grass by 
the roadside. They moved or rested in squads of 
a dozen or so, in pairs, sometimes singly. Many 
stopped to rest from over-exertion or to soothe in 
sleep the pangs of hunger to which they were well 
accustomed, and never awoke. 

But they were soldiers only in the color and 
trimmings of their clothing. There was nothing 
exciting, nothing precise and military, nothing 
dramatic on the surface. There was that quiet 
resignation that only attends silent tragedy of the 
heart. The customs and traditions of a civiliza- 
tion the most ideal that the world has ever seen 
had been staked on the single die, war, and the 
thi'ow was lost. 

This broken and jaded procession might have 
resembled a funeral of one of the gods, only that 
it lacked the punctuality and dignity of organized, 
well-managed mourning. There was no blaring 
of trumpets, no piping of fifes, no beating of 
drums. An occasional man carried a gun, but it 
was not a musket, rather an old rifle, a family 
heirloom, with which his father or grandfather 
had shot deer when Tennessee was a wilderness. 

34 



An Army of Peace 35 

Scarcely a man spoke. The only sounds one 
could hear were the heavy, irregular tread on the 
limestone macadam, the shuffling step of the tired 
and sick, the creak and rumble of the wagons, and 
the whinny of a half-famished horse. Only when 
some one broke from his traveling squad to take 
one of the off-shooting country roads to reach his 
home was there a general exclamation ; and then 
a dozen weak, hungry voices would call out: 
"Good-bye, old comrade; God bless you!" "It 
may be better than you think!" "Make the best 
of it! " or something of the like. 

The eyes of the men were cast down; their 
faces, browned and soiled by years of exposure, 
were sad and anxious. They minded not their 
own tattered appearance. They were accustomed 
to that. Their solicitude was for loved ones at 
home — the same spectre that had haunted camp 
and march and battle-field for four long years; for 
now that the strain and distraction of conflict was 
over, this anxiety became the one engrossing pas- 
sion. They scarcely noticed the wasted fields, 
the wrecked buildings, the worn and gullied turn- 
pike. 

There was not a trace of resentment or war in 
any countenance. 

This was the remnant of a once splendid army 
— an army drawn from a people possessed of true 
military spirit — and to such the verdict of Arms 
is the voice of Jehovah. While there was hope, 
they asked no quarter; as hope gave place to des- 
peration, they invited no clemency; when, at last, 
exhaustion claimed them one and all, they de- 
manded no mercy. To such, defeat is the keenest 



36 In the Wake of War 

chastisement. But, if it were needful to add 
punishment to the agony of defeat, they stood 
with bowed heads to receive it. 

It was now more than a month since they had 
accepted, with General Lee, the most magnani- 
mous terms of surrender ever imposed by an un- 
qualified victor; and ever since the dispersal of 
the insurrection and the capitulation of the Gov- 
ernment set up in Richmond, this straggling line 
of returning soldiers had been continuous. First 
came the army of Tennessee, such as went out 
from the Middle States and far West; and they 
were followed by the men from the magnificent 
army of Virginia. 

There were about a dozen men in the group to 
which Howard Grayson and Manning Lewis had 
attached themselves on the eastern slope of the 
Blue Ridge Mountains. Together they had en- 
dured the perils and privations of war, and to- 
gether they had endured the taunts and humil- 
iations cast upon them during their homeward 
journey by guerrilla mountaineers. Together they 
had discussed through many a weary mile the new 
order of things at home, and had agreed on the 
peaceful course each should pursue. 

Grayson and Lewis were among the first in 
Middle Tennessee to respond to the confused and 
hurried call for troops to defend the traditions 
and rights of their State from supposed assault. 
For four years they had followed the hazard of 
their cause with all the enthusiasm of youth and 
the valor of patriotic breeding; and now they 
were returning home, their cause crushed, their 
enthusiasm worked and starved out, but with new 



An Army of Peace 37. 

aud broader ideas of patriotism. A patriotism 
not for State or Section alone, but for the whole 
Countrj. 

Their squad had halted at the divergence of a 
little country road that led off to the west, by 
which Grayson and Lewis could reach their old 
liome in a few hours' ride. 

A lengthy farewell would have brought a deluge 
of memories that all instinctively avoided; and, 
with a shake of hands all around and a hearty 
"God-speed," the two young men, followed by 
Pleas, Howard Grayson's negro servant, rode olf 
by themselves. 

As 'they passed over a little hill that cut off 
their last view of the turnpike and its peaceful 
army, Manning Lewis broke the silence. 

"Well, Howard, the last suggestion of our suf- 
ferings has gone out of sight; I wish we could get 
shut of the memory of them as quickly." 

" Yes," replied Howard, " but we can't. I 'm 
not certain yet that we shall want to forget even 
the miseries of our camp life. If the result is to 
be what I hope for, and what we may reasonably 
expect from the terms of surrender, we shall need 
a bit of sombre in the background to relieve the 
pleasant recollections we are carrying home." 

' ' There 's a plenty of sombre in the background ; 
no trouble about that. Ho, there is a creek and 
my old Rosinante is so jaded we must stop for 
water and rest. I wanted to halt at the last 
creek, but I remembered this little ford and 
thought we could have a quiet talk together." 

They dismounted, took the worn saddles from 
their horses, turned them over to Pleas, and 



38 In the Wake of War 

threw themselves on the grass at the roadside. 
For some moments they lay in silence, each deep 
in his own thoughts. Presently Manning said, 
without looking at his companion: "Please let 
me see again your last letter from home.'" 

Howard took from an inside pocket in his coat 
a carefully wrapped parcel, and selecting the 
letter asked for, handed it to Lewis. Manning 
looked a moment at the envelope, and whimsically 
remarked: "That is a mighty common work of 
art — that postage stamp. It looks like the label 
on a bottle of Greenbriar whisky. I reckon it 
will take rank soon with other relics and curios 
and become respectable in a collection of old 
coins, and-so-forth. ' ' 

"It always was an ugly design, but, you see 
our people knew little about that sort of thing. 
Our fellows have cultivated the art of oratory and 
the science of arms, and have left the practical 
machinery of life to the Yankees. There is one 
reason, and the main one, why you and I are rid- 
ing home on these sorry-looking horses, licked 
beyond recognition, with coat-sleeves out at the 
elbows and toes peeping through our shoes. As 
I look back at it now I wonder that our cause, 
however righteous, could have stood so long, 
guarded l)y such impractical men. If we go home 
and take hold of life in a businesslike manner, I 
believe the Southern States will make the prac- 
tical policy of this country as easily as they have 
dominated the theoretical part since the first Fed- 
eral compact was signed." 

"Philosophizing again, '^ muttered Lewis, with- 
out taking his eyes from the borrowed letter, which 



An Army of Peace 39 

he was now reading for the twentieth time. 
' ' That is the best letter Mary Lou has written 
since we 've been out. You notice that she says 
the last news from the East is more encouraging, 
but with all that she seems to anticipate the end. 
These women can better distinguish the hectic 
flush that precedes death from the bloom of 
health, a thousand miles from the patient, than we 
men can right on the ground."' 

" All of which fine discourse leads up to the 
subject that has worried me more than any other 
since we started home," said Grayson. "No 
fellow ever longed for home more than I do, and 
yet I dread to meet with Mary Lou. It is hard 
to stand before a woman with a case of failure on 
one's hands. Mary Lou has seen this end for 
more than a year, yet she is right now dying from 
disappointment. A woman can manage her own 
defeats, but when one of us falls below grade, 
it just seems to kill her. She believes you and I 
have done our little parts well, but she can not 
realize that any cause we adopt so heartily can 
fail." 

"But Mary Lou is a very reasonable person; 
she will not complain," put in Lewis. 

" That is one more difliculty. She will over- 
whelm me with affection; first, because it is her 
nature, and next, because she will be scared lest 
I discover her mortification. I don't know how 
to act, for I can't quite study out how the matter 
will be." 

"It will end like those paper-covered novels 
did that we used to read and carry back and forth 
— with orange blossoms. I propose to overlook 



40 In the Wake of War 

all the intervening annoyances, and keep my eye 
fixed on that happy end. Here is your letter, old 
fellow, let's be going." 

They rode in silence most of the afternoon, for 
every stretch of landscape invoked memories of 
other times. 

It was a glorious day in middle May — that 
period when nature is most beautiful and prom- 
ising in the South. They remarked the small 
number of persons they met by the way, and 
especially the absence of negroes. As they halted 
for a few moments in the shade of a giant oak, 
Pleas said: "I wonders whar all de niggers is, 
Mars Howard ? I ain' seen sech scaceness of 
niggers in dese parts in all my bornM days." 

"I can't tell you, Pleas," answered Grayson. 
' ' 1 reckon they have gone North, or to the cities. 
Miss Mary Lou wrote me that after the negroes 
were made free many of them left the plantations 
and moved to the cities." 

" I doan see nothin' dey bed to move, said 
Pleas with a chuckle, as if he enjoyed the help- 
less condition of the ambitious freedmen. "Dey 
better stay whar dey was, with deir marsters and 
mistises." 

The evening was far advanced when they 
reached the top of the long, high hill that divided 
the two valleys in which they were born and 
raised. Down the summit or " backbone" of this 
hill led the road by which Manning Lewis was to 
reach his father's house a few miles to the south. 
The "straight-forward road" brought Howard 
Grayson into the beautiful and fertile valley of 
Opal Creek, where Elmington had been famous for 



An Army of Peace 4^ 

nearly a century as one of the richest plantations 
in Middle Tennessee. 

The view from the rugged old hill-top had been 
one of the attractions of the neighborhood for years, 
and before the war hundreds of parties had driven 
there on picnic occasions to watch the sunset. 
This was the very season when it was to be seen 
at its greatest glory. Just across the narrow 
valley of the Opal the disc of the sun had dropped 
behind the hills that formed its western boundary ; 
and the jagged, irregular line of the horizon, that 
followed the peaks and caverns of the range, was 
ablaze with red and gold. This threatening 
splendor of color flamed and shot high up the 
firmament, shading into purple and gray, until all 
were lost in the peace of infinite blue at the sum- 
mit of the dome above their heads. 

They sat for some moments regarding the 
familiar scene, forgetting the ardor of their home- 
going. Then Howard turned and said : ' ' How 
natural it looks. For the moment I clear forgot 
that I had been away from home. Here, Man- 
ning, is a panorama of our position. The strifes 
and contentions of the last four years are repre- 
sented by the fire of the parting day, and all are 
passing into night and oblivion. The East, 
whence comes new life and dawn, is all blue and 
peaceful." 

"Very pretty," answered Lewis, "but how 
about those black thunder-heads that seem to be 
rolling in over the hills to the north; do they cut 
any figure in this prophecy ? " 

"You never did appreciate my philosophy, 
and I won't waste any more time on you this 



42 In the Wake of war 

evening, especially as mj father and sister are 
waiting for me this very moment. Come, Pleas, 
let 's go." 

"Give my best regards to Mary Lou and yom* 
father; and tell Mary Lou that I shall give 
myself the pleasure of calling on her right soon," 

"Good-night, Manning. Regards to all the 
folks." 

"Good-night, Howard," and each rode off 
to resume the family ties, laid aside for those 
of State four years before. 



Home Again 

FULL an hour's time was taken in covering the 
four miles that lay between the forks of the 
road where Howard Grayson parted with his com- 
rade and his father's house. Impatience, a taint 
foreign to his breeding and habit, showed itself in 
a cruel use of whip and spur; and for once he 
heard not, or heeded not, the admonition of 
Fleas. 

When he drew before the entrance to the house- 
lot he saw by the dim light that the massive gate 
was no longer there. It had guarded the place 
since his earliest remembrance. One great mar- 
ble post lay prone on the ground; the other top- 
pled wearily. 

"I laik t' know who kerried off our gyate an' 
broke our postes! " said Pleas, in surprise. 

"Oh, they have had some war here while we 
have been in Virginia," answered Howard, as they 
rode into the yard. Poor Pleas! He had never 
once thought but that he had seen every skirmish 
and battle of his day and generation. 

As they rode up the winding drive among the 
trees of the lawn, Howard saw the gleam of a 
light through the library window; he thought it 
looked more faint than it used to in the good old 
times. He sprang eagerly from his saddle and 
rushed to the front door. It was bolted. He 
could not remember ever before to have found 

43 



44 In the Wake of War 

that door locked. He recalled the oft-made 
remark of his father : ' ' Locks and bolts are an 
evidence of inhospitality; Elmington has been 
open for near a century to friend or stranger." 
To his fiery shake of the knob there was no 
response save a hollow echo ; so he ran to the side 
of the house, beneath the lighted window and 
called: "Father, Sister, undo the door! It is 
Howard! " 

For all the anxiety of the moment he noted the 
childishness of his own voice. He was a captain, 
and for more than a year had delivered commands 
in what he thought were tones of authority. That, 
after all, was assumed; in the presence of his 
father and sister, in the atmosphere of his child- 
hood, he was a boy again. 

His call was answered by a scream of joy from 
Mary Lou, and the heavy tread of his father com- 
ing dovm the hall to draw the bolts. The door 
opened. 

"Howard! Brother!" cried Mary Lou, spring- 
ing into his arms. 

Then holding the trembling light near, the 
father looked closely at his son's features and 
into his eyes for a moment. " Oh, Howard, you 
are well! Howard is home, and well! Good, 
good ! " he cried. He walked nervously from 
side to side, holding the hand of his son, and 
muttering: "This is fine, this is fine!" For once 
the man of perfect poise was childish. How hap- 
pily the discipline of a lifetime in overcoming a 
display of emotions is brought to collapse in one 
supreme moment like this! 



Home Again 45. 

The first greetings over, Colonel Grayson called 
into the darkness: <' Pleas, are you there?" A 
flash of ivory and the whites of two eyes reflected 
the dim light of the candle out of the shadows of 
the night; a voice that broke with sobs, answered: 
" Yas, suh, Marster, bless de Lawd, I is, thank 
yo'." 

" Good again ! " cried the Colonel. 

"Howd'y, Pleas"" called Mary Lou through 
her tears. 

"Do not try to find the stable, Pleas, but turn 
the stock loose in the yard; they can do no harm. 
Then come into the house, I want to shake your 
hand," said the Colonel. 

The father led the way down the great hall that 
looked strangely vacant and gave forth an echo 
with every step. In the library they sat down, 
Howard in the old porch chair, with his father 
and Mary Lou on either side. 

' ' Now, Brother dear, do not look about this old 
room, but tell us how you have been. How you 
look in whiskers ! Did — did all the soldiers wear 
whiskers home ? " 

"No, Sister. One lieutenant in my company. 
Lieutenant Lewis — Lieutenant Manning Lewis is 
his full name and title — got a clean shave this 
very morning beside the pike, while our horses 
nipped a little grass. Pleas held him while I per- 
formed the operation, and the Lieutenant still lives. 
Is that enough on the whisker subject ? " 

"Yes, you dear captain brother. But — but 
were you sick ? Was Pleas sick ? " 

"I was sick many times, but the hospital rec- 
ord was not honored with our proud and ancient 



46 In the Wake of War 

name. Pleas and the Lieutenant nursed me so 
carefully that I was not off duty for two days in 
succession. Pleas had a touch of ague, but he 
never gave up; he is a resolute fellow in sick- 
ness." 

" God bless Pleas ! " cried the Colonel. "He 
has been a faithful servant." 

" And friend," broke in Howard. 

" Yes, my son, a faithful negro is the best and 
most constant friend a soldier can have. We owe 
much to them here. They protected your sister 
from embarrassments when I should have failed; 
and what little we have left in the house from the 
old time we owe to their fidelity — often to their 
duplicity. But I hear Pleas at the kitchen door; 
I must go and let him in. I cannot rest until 
I shake his honest black hand, and thank him." 

" Bring Pleas in here, Father," said Mary Lou, 
"I want to see his good old face again." 

The scene that came with the meeting of master 
and slave is one that an artist would shrink from 
the task of describing. It portrayed one of the 
mysterious and indescribable conditions of this 
most idealic civilization — the relations existing 
between the white master and his black chattel. 
In vain the world outside of this almost fairy life 
will try to understand it. In vain genius will 
struggle to picture it. The condition has vanished, 
and those who knew it and felt its peculiar charm 
are passing away. 

After a full exchange of greetings, Colonel 
Grayson said: " Pleas, there is no suitable place 
for you at the quarters, so you shall have a room 
in the house as long as you like. The negroes 



Home Again 47 

have all left, except Uncle Phil and Aunt Manda. 
You understand you are no longer a slave; that 
you have full liberty." 

" Dat' s jes' what ray young marster been tellin' 
all de way home, but Pleas doan wan' no lib'ty. 
I 's goin' down an' set dem gyate postes right soon 
in de mawnin'. I doan wan' no lib'ty. I 's de 
gladdes' nigger yo' err seen to git home with 
Mars Howard, safe an' soun', an' fine yo' an' 
Miss Mary Lou jes' as kine an' good as err." 

"Well, Pleas, we will talk more of that to- 
morrow. Mary Lou, have you a candle for Pleas ? 
Good-night, boy. Don't rise too soon in the 
morning, for you must be in need of rest," said 
the Colonel, as Pleas left the room. 

Father and children talked well into the night, 
the conversation running on the war as Howard 
had seen it in the field. Never once were the 
deprivations and humiliations that had visited the 
home in his absence alluded to. The eyes of the 
young soldier wandered about the library, resting 
from time to time on familiar objects that called 
up, each in turn, a deluge of happy remembrances. 

At last tired nature announced herself in a yawn 
from Howard, at which the Colonel arose quickly, 
saying: "We quite forget in our joy of reunion 
that you are very much exhausted. Go to rest 
now, my son, and in the morning we will talk of 
other things." 

As Mary Lou arose to bid her brother good- 
night, and came in the full glare of the sputtering 
candle, Howard noticed for the first time her 
dress, which was of homespun cotton dyed with 
the dull coloring of some native barks. He could 



48 In THE Wake OF War 

not restrain his surprise, and exclaimed : ' ' Where 
in the name of the Lost Cause did you get that 
dress, Mary Lou ? " 

' ' Why, Brother, you 've completely lost track 
of styles since you became a captain. You need 
to study fashion plates. This is the very latest 
thing — for the South. It is proper, because all 
the finest ladies of our acquaintance wear the 
same. Aunt Helen and I spun and wove, not 
only this, but the cloth for father's Sunday suit. 
Don't you like it?" she asked, swinging herself 
around with perceptible pride to give him a full 
view of the garment. 

"It is surely verj^ neat, and fits you more than 
fairly; but I can not recall my sister in such a 
dress. Who was the modiste ? " 

"The manufacturer turns out the whole gar- 
ment. You did n't think I could make and fit a 
dress ? Have n't you heard the song: — 

' This homespun dress is plain, I know, 
My hat 's palmetto, too, 
But then it shows what Southern girls 
For Southern rights will do. 
We 've sent the bravest of our land 
To battle with the foe, 
And we would lend a lielping hand, 
We love the South, you know. 

Hurrah! hurrah! for the sunny South, so dear; 

Three cheers for the homespun dress the 
Southern ladies wear.'" 

" Surely, I know those beautiful sentiments and 
bad poetry well enough, but I Jiever thought of 
applying them to my own sister. I always knew 
you were a dear, brave little girl. Good-night, 



Home Again 49 

Mary Lou, Call me early, if I don't come down 
first, for I want to look about the plantation in the 
morning." 

Again the hall echoed with footfalls, as Colonel 
Grayson showed his son to his room. " I hope," 
remarked the Colonel with a tone of apology, 
"that your life in the field has made you a good 
sleeper on a poor bed. We had military neigh- 
bors many times during your absence, and each 
succeeding lot seemed most in need of bedding. 
They have left us very little." 

"Oh, I can make that bed do nicely," said 
Howard. " That 's positive luxury by the side of 
anything I 've seen since I last slept in this room. 
I am so happy at being here that I could sleep 
like anything on this bare floor. Good-night, 
Father." 

"Good-night, my son; and may the God who 
has bestowed on us for so many years the incom- 
parable blessing of a happy, contented home be 
with you." 

"Please call me early. Father; I want to look 
about the place. I reckon there is a plenty of 
repairing to be done, and I want to get at it right 
early — don't want to have time to begin to 
dread it." 

" You will find things somewhat changed, and 
I hope you will not be too much disappointed. 
New conditions everywhere. You must adjust 
yourself to them as patiently as possible. Above 
all, we must not allow these material changes to 
interfere with our home life — -that must be 
resumed with all its common interest and perfect 
contentment. Already I feel the return of that 



50 In the Wake of War 

magic spell that hovers about a home filled with 
reciprocal love and confidence." 

" Oh, I 'm hereto make the best of everything. 
The boys talked about that all the way home. 
Things are mighty tough, I reckon; but we shall be 
happy again, right here. I'm happy, already." 

"Yes, I believe it; and your happiness is 
infectious. Good-night, again, Howard ; may 
you have refreshing sleep." 

"Good-night, Father. I'll sleep like a boy." 



The Abomination of Desolation 

THE sun stood well above the eastern hills 
when Howard Grayson came down from his 
room. He gave Mary Lou a reproving look as 
he kissed her good-morning. 

" Oh, I am not afraid of you, you big soldier 
brother," she said, laughingly. "You needed 
sleep and I could not think to call you. Wait 
right here on the porch a few moments and I will 
call you to a nice breakfast. I would love so 
deai'ly to give you some waffles, but the irons are 
gone. Where? Oh, the Yankee soldiers bor- 
rowed them. Don't go off the porch, for if once 
you begin to look about, there 's no place to stop. 
There come father and Pleas." And off she 
ran down the hall to the kitchen. 

" I hope you feel invigorated with your first 
night's rest at home," said the Colonel, as he 
drew near the porch where Howard was stationed 
to await the call for breakfast. 

"First class! Either the bed you were so 
anxious about, or the old familiar atmosphere, or, 
more likely, the content of home, made me sleep 
like a four-year-old. I can hardly wait for break- 
fast before going out to see where the work of 
rebuilding shall begin. You seem to have a fine 
crop of dog-fennel about the house." 

" Yes, the contrary stuff has evidently mistaken 
my efforts at extermination for honest cultivation; 
two stalks appear for each one I cut down. ' ' 



52 In the Wake of War 

' ' I see that many of our best lawn trees are 
cut down. Was that the work of the soldiers?" 

"Yes, Yankee soldiers. I believe they would 
have ruined the lawn completely, as they did the 
rest of the place, if I had not appealed to General 
Thomas for defence against wanton vandalism. 
He gave us all the protection we could ask in 
times of war, and I feel that we owe that great 
and good man a debt of gratitude which I hope 
you will some day have an opportunity to ac- 
knowledge." 

Mary Lou soon appeared, with cheeks red from 
the kitchen jBLre, and announced: " Breakfast is 
served." 

While walking down the spacious hall, Howard 
again noticed the unnaturalness of its appearance 
and the echo awakened by every footfall. Tm*n- 
ing to his sister he asked : ' ' What is there so 
strange about the house ? This hall does not look 
as it used to." 

' ' There is nothing new to me here. Oh, it 
is the carpets and rugs. The soldiers said they 
needed them for the colonel's tent and that they 
had orders to take them. We never argued with 
those soldiers. Father offered the colonel a room 
in the house, which his excellency declined, say- 
ing he thought his men could make him more 
comfortable where he was. Our rugs contributed 
to that comfort." 

" Did you save anything from such fellows?" 
asked Howard. "I looked for some of my 
clothes, but could find none. I 'm tired of this 
tattered uniform for everyday wear — I want to 
keep it for state occasions. ' ' 



The Abomination of Desolation ^ 

"Too bad, Brother, but the soldiers carried off 
all that was any good; the rest I gave to the 
negroes to keep them comfortable. We could 
buy them nothing, you know. Our silver and 
jewelry have been saved, through the fidelity of 
Uncle Phil," she continued. " I do not know 
where he has them, but you know Uncle Phil 
can be relied upon to fetch them out whenever 
we want." 

' ' I should like to run back to his cabin and 
embrace Uncle Phil and Aunt Manda right now. 
What faithful creatures they have been. " 

Breakfast was a very meagre affair, judged by 
the old-time standard at Elmington. In spite of 
all the devastation and barbarism of war the earth 
still brought forth, and fresh strawberries made a 
very enticing relish for the corn bread and turnip- 
greens that followed. The conversation turned 
upon the subject of rebuilding, although Howard 
did not then know the extent of his task; not once 
was any reference made to the thin meal. 

"The gods suffer, and are silent." 

' ' You can not know how relieved I am to have 
this trouble over — decided — and to be back 
home again," said Howard. "I have been think- 
ing over our conversation of last night, and while 
I know everything will be different from what we 
are used to, different from what we hoped for and 
from what I expected ; yet we can suit ourselves 
to the new conditions, we can adjust ourselves to 
the new civilization, and again be happy." 

"I can part with the old civilization more easily 
than you; not because I did not love it, but be- 
cause for a long time I have foreseen its probable 



54 In the Wake of War 

destruction. The overthrow of slavery takes a 
load from my conscience, though I can not help 
studying about what will become of the poor igno- 
rant black under the burden of his newly acquired 
liberty. ' The rights of citizenship ' means more 
than liberty before the law; it has a practical side 
that means meat and bread for the citizen and 
those dependent upon him. There are plenty of 
people ready to instruct the freedman in his politi- 
cal rights, but who will feed him?" 

"He can work as he always has done, only he 
will draw pay and buy his necessities," answered 
Howard, hopefully. 

"Well, we shall see," said the Colonel, as 
they left the house to look about the plantation. 

Father and son walked do^vn through the house- 
lot to the blue-grass pastures. On the way they 
passed the orchard, that covered more than ten 
acres of ground, in which not a dozen trees were 
standing. Apple, peach, and cherry trees all 
had fallen before the sweep of vandal hands. The 
horse barn, once the pride of the plantation, was 
a wreck. Only its frame, gaunt as a skeleton, 
stood in its ruin to speak of departed magniiicence. 
No doors swung upon the rusted hinges, no strip 
of siding remained. Everything combustible that 
could be removed with little effort had gone to 
feed camp-fires. 

"Why did they not leave the stable to protect 
their stock?" asked Howard. 

"I can not answer you, my son. They seemed 
only to think of themselves and the easiest way 
of keeping warm. They evidently did not love a 
horse as Tennesseans do." 



The Abomination of Desolation 55_ 

The turf of the blue-grass pastures, the joy of 
every plantation in Tennessee, was torn and fur- 
rowed, and great patches of weeds marked the 
locations of innumerable fires. 

' ' These fields were occupied three different 
times as a camp by Federal soldiers. The second 
set was much more wasteful than the first, and the 
last seemed bent on utter destruction. This 
pasturage is ruined and can not be reclaimed 
in ten years." 

"We shall have to crop it to get shur of these 
weeds. I reckon the grass will set again," said 
Howard, determined to be hopeful even in the 
face of complete destruction. 

Every gate was gone, great rents in the stone 
walls that had stood for nearly a century showed 
that the enemy had been malicious. The site of 
the once great fodder-barn was marked by a swamp 
of foul stuff of monstrous growth. 

The rich bottom fields on which had grown 
corn and cotton each year since the place was first 
cleared up, now showed a crop of willow sprouts 
shoulder-high. 

On every turn the young soldier uttered a fresh 
exclamation of surprise and horror as a new 
atrocity met his sight. Everything was in ruin - — 
rank, helpless, disheartening ruin. A less hopeful 
spirit would have dropped before the almost im- 
possible task of rebuilding; but each item of waste 
seemed to stimulate his determination, and as 
they turned homeward he said: "We shall have 
all these things to rights again, I '11 make a start 
this afternoon on the garden wall. We must 
raise our own vegetables." 



56 In the Wake of War 

" Why spend time at present on the garden 
wall ? There is nothing to trespass. I do not 
know of a hoof of sheep, cattle or swine in the 
whole neighborhood," said his father. 

"That's true. Well, I'll plant some more gar- 
den, then." 

" But my son, we have no seed — except some 
corn." 

"Then I'll plant corn, for lam bound to begin 
work to-day, sure. I reckon we shall have no 
trouble in hiring negroes." 

" With the consent only of the Freedmen's 
Bureau, But you forget that we have little money 
with which to pay help. ' ' 

"Then we will let them make a crop for a 
share," cried the son, full, as he thought, of 
worthy expedients. 

"I do not like to discourage you, Howard, but 
there is still an obstacle in the way. The negroes 
will need to have their living advanced, either in 
money or provisions, until the crop is made. We 
are poor in both of these indispensables." 

"Then I '11 plant corn and rebuild the stone 
wall by myself. The work will go slowly, but 
Elmington shall be rebuilt, if I have to do every 
lick myself." 

They turned to go back to the house, Howard 
setting the course so that they should pass the 
family shrine, where all that was mortal of his 
mother was laid away. The massive stone and 
mortar wall that surrounded this sacred acre had 
been torn open, and the plain granite shaft had 
been used, day after day, as a target for unseemly 
rifle practice. The emblem of enduring love was 



The Abomination of Desolation 57 

nicked and defaced by a hundred well-aimed 
bullets. The young soldier hung his head. 

" Is nothing sacred in war ? " he said, at last. 
''No, Father, war is nothing in all the world but 
systematic rowdyism. I 'm sick of it." 



IV 

Rebuilding Begins 

IS there such a thing in the house as a lead 
pencil, Mary Lou?" asked Howard after he 
came back from an hour's inspection of the plan- 
tation and had seated himself in the kitchen. 

" Don't embarrass me by calling for such lux- 
uries," she answered, naively. 

' ' You nmst forgive me, but I 've been spoiled 
by being in touch with a most bountiful commis- 
sary. AH I have had to do was to call for what- 
ever I needed or wanted, and then not get it. 
You ought to have seen our stores toward the last; 
there was not a strip of side-meat as big as one of 
your little hands, nor meal enough to make a 
corn dodger. But seriously, I must do some writ- 
ing, if possible." 

"We have some elderberry ink and quill pens, 
if you can make them do. There is no paper in 
the house except some pages from old blank- 
books such as we have been using for letter- 
writing." 

" That will do nicely, only I prefer the blank- 
book, if you can spare me one from your volumi- 
nous correspondence. " 

"You must not speak lightly of my letter- 
writing, for I have a pleasant surprise for you in 
two letters that I have received since my last to 
you. Oh, you may look curious, but I shall pun- 
ish you by not showing them now, nor even tell- 

58 



REBUILDING Begins 59. 

ing the name of my correspondent. Here is an 
old diary for the year 1859, with some of your 
own entries in it. Listen: ' January 1st. Went 
calling with Manning. Had a great time. Went 

to a New Year's party in the evening at .' " 

She stopped suddenly, for she saw that her teas- 
ing had brought unexpected pain, and laying her 
hand on his shoulder, she said: "Forgive me. 
Brother, I did not think to hurt your feelings." 

"That's nothing. Little Sister. I reckon I 
showed more than I feel. But you are bound to 
know sooner or later, that though I have passed 
through plenty of scraps without a scratch, this 
cruel business has left a wound, and without 
thought you brushed it. When it suits your fancy 
I'll listen to your surprise; for the present, I'll 
take the diary, if you are willing, but it won't 
serve my purpose. I want to make some memo- 
randa for permanent use, and then have the rest 
of the book for a kind of journal. The remnant 
of that old ledger will answer." 

Without further ado, Howard Grayson seated 
himself before the table to make the first business 
programme of his life. 

The product of an hour's deliberation and self- 
communion was a seriatim schedule of what he 
proposed to do on the plantation. He was des- 
perately earnest and wanted to be practical. 

Be that as it may, the ten items disclosed only 
one state of temper, resignation; only one pur- 
pose, to rebuild the home. 

At this juncture Colonel Grayson entered the 
room, and Howard with the confidence of child- 
hood submitted to him the written page. 



60 In the Wake of War 

"That does you credit, my son," he said, after 
reading it over caref all3\ ' ' If only the politicians 
leave us alone w^e shall have no trouble in carry- 
ing your programme into effect. But do not 
think too intently on temporal rebuilding. We 
may work like our negroes used to work, but we 
must not neglect those little matters of heart that 
made the civilization of the old South the best and 
most refined that the world has ever seen. Along 
with our labors let us give time and thought and 
feeling to rebuilding the home with its countless 
loves and confidences. Let us keep that first in 
mind, always present in deed, and our daily toil 
will ennoble us." 

"I used to think that work, common drudgery 
in sweat and dirt, disgraceful, or undignified at 
least; but when I read that programme the pros- 
pect of making Elmington again beautiful inspires 
me, and I want to get at it directly. I don't care 
for a little perspiration, 't will do me good. Can 
you get me the seed corn ? " And he put away 
the book containing a schedule of his good inten- 
tions, to begin without further preliminary the bat- 
tle of life as a working man. 

His father brought the seed, and hoe in hand, 
Howard started out to plant; but when they came 
to the garden the ground was not plowed, and his 
father had to tell him that there was not a harness 
nor a piece of plow gear on the plantation. So 
item number one was passed temporarily, and, as 
the young man's determination burned too fiercely 
to brook delay, he made straight for the rent in 
the garden wall. 

The blocks of stratified limestone of which this 



Rebuilding Begins 6\_ 

fence was built were wondrous heavy, and the 
primitive hand-spike cut from a hickory sapling 
did weak and springy service. Hands browned 
by the sun and hardened by the bridle rein soon 
bore marks of unusual toil. Muscles developed 
in field sports and gentlemanly exercises responded 
with a vigorous spurt to the dictates of a better 
trained will, but were unable to furnish sustained 
force. The sun boiled down, was reflected back, 
and enshrouded the laborer with quivering, stifling 
heat. 

But for all that he toiled on, deaf to the 
admonition of his father, who gave much counsel 
to the work and such help as his physical infi.rmi- 
ties allowed. In the middle of the forenoon 
Mary Lou came out with a bucket of water and a 
dish of fresh strawberries. Only then did the 
ardor of the work abate, and Howard seated him- 
self on the rebuilt portion for rest and refreshment. 

' ' My poor, dear brother, ' ' exclaimed Mary 
Lou, "your hands are all torn and bleeding, and 
look at that great blister! Do leave this old 
fence alone, and let some negro do it. This is no 
work for you. You would not think of asking 
Pleas to do it. Let it go, for nothing will come 
through; besides, you have not been back to see 
Uncle Phil and Aunt Manda yet." 

With a woman's instinct she had read the 
newly developed material spirit in her brother, 
although she had not been intrusted with the 
secret of his written resolutions. To argue the 
question was to fan the fire of his determination; 
but his love for the faithful old mammy of his 
babyhood, and the suggestion that he had neg- 



62 In the Wake of War 

lected her made an unanswerable appeal. He 
struggled a moment with his business programme, 
and then said: "Sure enough, I ought to have 
gone to see them before I ate breakfast. That 
was my first duty after greeting you and father. 
After a little we '11 all walk back to the cabin and 
surprise them, for they don't know yet that I am 
home." 

But they were scarcely seated when a horseman 
came round a bend in the pike, and Howard 
cried: "Oh, there comes Major Lewis, and on 
Manning's old horse. Isn't that fine stock for a 
Middle Tennessee gentleman to ride ? I would 
be glad to know where Manning is." 

Before the Major took Howard's outstretched 
hand, he spoke to Mary Lou and raised his broad- 
brimmed hat in old-time courtesy. Then, alight- 
ing from his saddle, he returned the hearty greet- 
ing of young Grayson with all the warmth of his 
genial nature. 

He presented a strange figure in his homespun 
suit. The coat was cut doul^le-breasted, the skirts 
reaching to the baggy knees of his trousers, and 
conforming to his life cu&tom, only the lower 
button did service. The lapels flared back as if 
ashamed to keep company with his coarse cotton 
shirt-front. 

In better days he had been of punctilious habit 
in dress, never extravagant or conspicuous, but, 
after his own peculiar taste in cut and texture, 
uniformly well clothed. Now all was changed, 
yet there was in his bearing no suggestion of 
apology for this uncouth garb. His lean, wiry 
form stood erect, his face and manner bespoke 



Rebuilding Begins 63^ 

that utter oblivion to material surroundings that 
marks the gentleman of the old school. 

If his presence spoke aught, it said: "These 
clothes comply with legal and moral requirements, 
they were paid for with the sweat and blood of 
my dear wife, now grown old in my companion- 
ship, and I am not ashamed of them." 

Looking about with marked • deliberation, first 
at each member of the family and then on the 
spread of surrounding desolation, he said: "We 
just had to come over and witness the reunion of 
the Grayson family, and I'm not disappointed — • 
you all look happy. Surely this is a beautiful 
picture, set in a frame of sach complete destruc- 
tion. Looks like I discover another rose in Miss 
Mary Lou's cheek. The sun ? No, it 's the brother! 
Mrs. Lewis sends her compliments, but could 
not come; the walk was too long and there 
was no possible contrivance by- which she could 
ride. Manning and I came 'ride and tie,' and 
it was my ride last. I reckon he '11 get in di- 
rectly. The Captain is looking remarkably well, 
Rodeny. " 

"I am in perfect health, Major Lewis, and 
many thanks are due Manning for that," said 
Howard, "He exposed himself times enough to 
save me, always before I knew it. And let me 
tell you right now, for he never would speak of it, 
my promotion before him was an accident — a 
surprise to both of us. I did not deserve it above 
him, which our superiors afterward saw and tried 
to correct by offering him a company on two occa- 
sions, but he wanted to stay with me — nominally 
my inferior in rank." 



64 In the Wake of War 

' ' Manning has not mentioned it to me, but there 
could be no rivah-y between the Graysons and the 
Lewises," said the Major. 

"And so history repeats itself," said Colonel 
Grayson. "It was so with Major Lewis and me 
in the Mexican war. I received the promotion he 
deserved. Your statement, Howard, and Man- 
ning's silence, do equal credit to you both." 

"But the question of our respective promotions 
away back yonder has been one of dispute be- 
tween us so long that it is not worth while to 
renew it now," said the Major. "The most impor- 
tant subject, now that our families are reunited, is 
that of meat and bread — a mighty mean problem 
for gentlemen to be studying at. Makes me feel 
like a Yankee already. I just naturally hate it, 
but what 's to be done ? Have any of your nig- 
gers got back ? " 

"None," answered Colonel Grayson, "and if 
they had, I don 't reckon we could work them 
without the consent of the Freedmen's Bureau." 

"And that charitable institution has too many 
religious men deviling with its management to be 
entirely above my suspicion," put in the Major. 
" I don 't want a thing to do with those preachers. 
Every man I know of, or have heard spoken of in 
connection with it, is a Reverend. On the out- 
side it is Rev. So-and-so; and 1 understand that 
between themselves it is Brother So-and-so, and 
some of them even ' Brother ' the nigger. ' ' 

< ' They may intend to do a good work, and I 
hope they will. In any event they take a great 
burden from us, for you know that freeing the 
negro without preparation for his liberty always 



Rebuilding Begins 65 

has been a serious business with me. Perhaps 
they will undertake, and eventually accomplish, 
this very work, although I do not see how they 
can do it. We shall not be held responsible for 
it, anyway," said Colonel Grayson. 

' ' They can't do it, and are making a sham at 
trying. They only expect to control the nigger 
so as to use him after he becomes a citizen. Hear 
my prophecy: The nigger will be a voter in less 
than five years, and who knows but he will be 
sitting on jnries in the County Court, or even in 
the Legislatm-e. This is not to be a white man's 
country any more." Some people had called the 
Major a pessimist; others had long regarded him 
a prophet. 

"Most of the Freedmen's Bureau managers are 
very impractical and wild in their theories, as I 
have learned from my half-brother, Felix Gray- 
son. They expect to educate the negro in a shoi't 
time and make him independent in spirit. Of 
course Felix understands the black man well 
enough to know better than that. He ridicules 
his own work. And, by the way, he has visited 
us several times lately, has been quite confiden- 
tial and shown a very friendly spirit. He has 
offered to buy Elmington, or to lend me money 
on it." 

"The same thing in the end. Do you know, 
Rodeny, I Ve been studying over this matter of 
going into debt for the putting of Fairfax to 
rights, and I 'm against it. We shall patch up 
a little here and there, and eventually, some 
sweet day, the plantation will be in good shape 
again. I 'm in no great hurry to fix up. Man- 

5 



66 In the Wake of War 

ning and I can't work much land, anyway; and 
then I need something to cuss about. Every 
time I see a piece of waste I propose to stop then 
and there and bless those damned invading 
Yankee scoundrels. Excuse my language, Miss 
Mary Lou, it was a slip of the tongue, I assure 
you." 

"The sentiment was line, Major Lewis; the 
language good for a man," she answered. 

"I don't reckon the Federal soldiers did any 
worse than we would have done, if we had had 
the chance," said Howard. 

"Possibly not, Captain; but my ox would not 
have been gored in that event. You see the 
question is, ' Whose ox V " 

"Never mind the ox; there comes my com- 
rade, the finest fellow and the best soldier that 
lives," cried Howard, waving his old cap in wel- 
come as Manning Lewis came in sight a hundred 
yards down the pike. 

"If Mrs. Lewis were only here, how much it 
would seom like old times," said Colonel Gray- 
son. And they all sat down on the lawn to plan 
together for the future; not. entirely for the needs 
that confronted them, but because this occupation 
took their minds from contrasting the present 
with tlieir former condition. 



V 

The New Man 

THE Federal soldier who had followed the beck 
of his country, had left family and comfort- 
able fireside, had endured the merciless horrors of 
war, had shed his blood and carried scars, wounds, 
broken health or shattered constitution — all with- 
out complaint — returned to his home after the 
insurrection was crushed and peace was restored, 
to resume the old ties of family and civilianship. 
He believed that his late foe never had been his 
personal enemy, that they had entertained differ- 
ences of opinion and each had sought to maintain 
his position, but now they were again, and more 
securely than ever before, brothers and fellow- 
citizens. 

The Southern soldier, in his turn, went back to 
his devastated home and broken home-circle, 
accepting with philosophic resignation the issues 
of the conflict, anxious to take up and straighten 
out the tangled thread of citizenship. 

This splendid condition followed by natural 
sequence the magnanimous terms of surrender 
— terms applauded by the victor, appreciated by 
the vanquished. It promised to realize the hope 
of the war administration as expressed by Mr. 
Lincoln in every public utterance in which he 
made allusion to the subject. The return of peace 
and good-will was almost accomplished. Those 
who had fought wanted peace. They expected it. 



68 In the Wake of War 

But strange to relate, yet natural as the succes- 
sion of seasons, all this line sentiment was brushed 
rudely aside by an unexpected appearance. A 
new type of man sprang suddenly into life, or into 
prominence, in the South, ready-made to take and 
fill certain responsibilities. This man had not had 
his day. So long as a gun was pointed at a blue- 
coat, he had remained in seclusion. He only 
burst the eclipse and came forth from his skulking 
when the sword was returned to its peaceful scab- 
bard. The uncertainties of war had not offered 
him a fit chance to show his peculiar virtue, for it 
was of a kind that shone not in the heat of con- 
flict. The blaze of artillery, the whistle of bullets, 
the shriek of shells — in fact, all the useless ex- 
citement and hurly-burly of battle — would have 
dimmed the splendid effulgence of his valor. His 
special bravery could not be allowed nov.^ to burn 
itself into invisible vapor, after having smouldered 
so long in healthy retii'ement. This tardy patriot 
must have his day. He demanded it. 

Besides, the men who had borne the burden of 
warfare were footsore. With the advent of peace 
their employment was gone, and new blood was 
needed to bring affairs to a suitable ending. 

Then there arose in certain quarters the feeling 
that the break from war to peace would be too ab- 
rupt for the good of the country, that a season of 
half and half was desirable. 

Accordingly, the business of Reconstruction, as 
a local or State measure, was brought into being 
out of nothing; and so shaped by those who begat 
it, that it should tally with that special genius 
which was the sole and singular property of this 



The New Man 69 

New Man. His abilities matched by a becoming 
undertaking, there was developed in his breast a 
restless love of united Country, and a consuming 
hate of the very memory of insurrection or in- 
subordination that approached the farthest bordor 
of mania. He swarmed about the capitols of the 
several Southern States, bulging such frothy 
patriotism a child could have seen that his loyal 
spirits were in the first stage of fermentation. 

This slave of public weal needed only an oppor- 
tunity to show his newly acquired mettle, now 
that danger was past, and his persistent and 
shameless clamor placed him in control of nearly 
every legislative body in the South. True, his 
record as camp-follower, guerrilla, stay-at-home, 
or " I-told-you-so, " might have stood against him 
in any enterprise, except Reconstruction. The 
disqualifications for this undertaking are not found 
in the catalogue of felonies and misdemeanors. 

And now that the miracle of Creation was 
accomplished, and the propagation of patriotism 
confronted this new species, it was perfectly nat- 
ural for the members to divide themselves into 
proper grades and classes. This came about by 
the operation of the desired and long sought 
" Merit System. " Those most gifted by nature 
for self-sacrifice, the crying virtue of the time, 
were pushed rapidly to the front, each by his own 
exertions, to become leaders and organizers. 

Those in whom this stale leaven of patriotism 
had not made such violent and frothy rising, as- 
sumed their proper places without murmuring in 
the middle and rear ranks. They wanted only to 
be useful, and they could see, out of their abun- 



70 In the Wake of War. 

dant wisdom, that it is a weak enterprise that pre- 
sents all its forces in the front rank. From this 
subaltern class arose sheriffs, constables, officers 
of courts, spies, and doers of dirty work on short 
notice. 

And over and above all, the ruling hand and 
spirit — yea more, the very political godfather in 
Tennessee of this New Man, with all his allied 
and collateral following, was Kellogg G. Simon, 
Governor. Not only was his approval of all dis- 
tressing legislation necessary, but his peculiar 
genius was almost constantly invoked to suggest 
plans by which the limit of torment could be 
reached. In order to keep enactments abreast of 
his inventive virulence, the Legislature was almost 
constantly in session; and, judged by the volume 
of business transacted, it was either sorely over- 
worked or extremely capable and dextrous. And 
as each parcel of folly or malice received its sol- 
emn and portentous decree, in the singular energy 
and unflagging acrimony of the Governor lay its 
suitable execution. 

This strange adaptation of the man to condi- 
tions and conditions to the man was little short of 
foreordination, and he wielded his power with 
the fanatical assurance of Divine Right. 

The Legislature for the great Volunteer State 
was in session in Nashville as this history begins. 
It was composed largely of the first crop of these 
creatures; malignant, bold, aggressive, blatant — 
for the enemy had laid aside his arms. Every 
act that their stupidity could invent tending to the 
spiteful humiliation of the Southern soldier, was 
placed upon the statute books without the show 



The New Man _7]_ 

of sincerity that comes with reasonable delibera- 
tion. 

"Is it irritating, virulent, vicious ? ' ' seems to 
have been their only question. In their mad 
haste to exasperate they overlooked every other 
consideration, even the commonest rules of Eng- 
lish grammar. 

Every law that could operate as an obstacle to 
the peaceful return of the vanquished to the rights 
and privileges of citizenship, found ready passage. 
Not only was the ballot box surrounded by con- 
scienceless and senseless barriers that he could not 
scale had he been disposed to try, but his right to 
walk and ride in the public highway was attacked. 
The quiet rebuilding of his home, even the sanc- 
tity of his home, the planting of crops for the 
sustenance of his family, and the privilege of 
public worship of God, all, and more, were made 
subjects of malevolent interference. 

Such, in the abstract, was the New Man. 

The creation was original, unique, well-timed; 
but for the South, unfortunate. I say well-timed, 
for at no other period of the Country's history 
could he have attained prominence. Conditions 
favored for a moment and he was brought forth 
into the breach, and there played such infamy 
that no history of the time is complete without his 
story. 



VI 

The New Man in Action 

'^PHE scenes witnessed in Nashville as the 
i returning soldiers assembled and dispersed 
were more distressing than had been enacted there 
at any time during the war. There is to active 
warfare certain splendor and pomp that spreads 
a glamour over its hideous face. But Peace that 
follows in the train of all this glittering majesty 
— white-winged and beautiful though it be de- 
scribed — presents a drama concentrating the hor- 
rors of all the preceding campaigns. 

The armies of peace, both blue and grey, were 
there, and their torn and bleeding reninanls 
exceeded the number of those in arms within its 
gates at any time during the four years of war. 
And in all this throng there was no vengeance. 
When the band, a part uniformed in blue, a part 
in grey, played as it marched through the streets, 
it alternated the breezy air of " Yankee Doodle " 
with the inspiring strains of "Dixie." The 
tattered soldier in grey walked arm in arm with 
his late foe in blue. Brothers here met and were 
reunited; old friendships dropped four years before 
were resumed, and the misery everywhere visible 
was softened by the gracious spirit of good-will. 
The world never has seen another such exhibi- 
tion of impersonal patriotism as when the par- 
ticipants in this great war of four awful years' 
duration were transformed in a day to fellow- 

72 



The New Man in Action 73 

citizens and personal friends. The victor and the 
vanquished met, the one without gloating, the 
other without rancor. Love of country had pre- 
vailed over hate of institution on the one hand, 
over love of institution on the other. It was an 
ideal condition, a beautiful lesson in forbearance; 
but the picture was destroyed, the lesson spoiled. 
Times were too practical, opportunities too great, 
to permit the indulgence of the ideal. This 
spreading fraternity threatened the future plans of 
the New Man; and therein lay the motive for all 
that show of virulence at a time when forgiveness 
was the manly part. 

To the New Man nothing could be more aggra- 
vating than the prospect of a reunited people, a 
common country. This state of affairs if allowed 
to continue, would render his projected occupa- 
tion worthless, and the rich fields for patriotic 
exploitation would tui'n to desert before his hun- 
gering eyes. 

The wounds, the empty sleeves, the rude 
crutches, the famished countenances, and the 
innumerable other marks of human suffering that 
met him at every turn, made no appeal. If, 
indeed, he treated at all with the subject of this 
misery, he dismissed it with the one proposition: 
"The Federals will draw pensions, the Kebels 
will suffer; both will get their deserts." He 
could afford to indulge this kind of philosophy, 
he had wounded no soldiers. The houses and 
barns he had burned, the defenceless women and 
children he had terrified, and his other character- 
istic military performances — all done under cover 
of night — had prepared him for such practical 



74 In the Wake of War 

conclusions- In fact, this kind of warfare had so 
shaped and set his predisposed temperament and 
conscience, that misery only excited his ghoulish 
greed, and fraternity only fired his peculiar martial 
spirit. 

The Governor's office was the rendezvous for 
the New Man. Here he thronged, here he dis- 
coursed on treason as if it were a new crime and 
he the discoverer, here he contrived to save the 
country after his own peculiar methods; and, when 
his plans had been reduced to a system and had 
been duly incorporated into the laws of the land, 
here he came for instruction in methods of speedy 
and pestiferous execution. 

One morning a little past the middle of July, 
Jonas Smith, Sheriff, was among the early callers 
at the Governor's office. He had come to the 
Capitol for special instructions on some recent 
legislation, and particularly regarding a bill that 
had passed both branches of the Legislature the 
night before and now lay on the Governor's desk 
for approval. 

The Governor rose to shake hands as Smith 
entered the room, and thus presented the full out- 
line of his figure before the window. His was 
no common personality: Full six feet in height, 
erect, raw-boned, vigorous in action, alert in re- 
pose. Every movement proclaimed self-confi- 
dence. His features were sharp cut and angular; 
his hard, gray eye flashed the internal fires of 
revenge and hate that were extinguished only 
when the wild spirit left the rough body. His 
dress was loose and flabby, after the custom of 
the back-country people, and his massive hand 



The New Man in Action ^ 

showed the manual toil that had been his early 
heritage. 

The leading quality of his character was imperi- 
oiTsness, which, without the softening and restrain- 
ing influence of good breeding, had become 
intolerably overbearing. Born to poverty, reared 
to a struggle for daily bread, he early espoused 
the notion that the world's economics were ill ad- 
justed, and that he was the victim; and he waged, 
all his life, a warfare on those more lucky or more 
successful in material affairs than himself as if he 
had inherited a grudge against good fortune. 

So also it was in religious and political affairs. 
He never rose above the plane of attack, and in 
the controversies which had consumed most of his 
time for a quarter of a century, he never rose 
above the plane of personalities. In conversation, 
though prolific in ideas of his own sort, he never 
could elevate his forms of speech above the com- 
mon slang of his times. 

In fact, his whole character might be summed 
up in the single statement that he represented the 
most forceful, and perhaps the most capable, of 
that type of man who spends his life in creedal, 
professional and political controversies. 

But, with all his brute force and human malice, 
there yet remained one quality that commanded 
respect; he possessed either personal courage or 
bravado to such a degree that it passed for courage 
in the estimation of the world. 

Familiar with all the dialects, and especially 
with that of the country people living in the back- 
woods districts, he addressed the Sheriff in his 
own tongue, that spoken by a rather indefinite 



76 In the Wake of War 

class named by the negroes, "poor white trash." 
"How'dy, Smith, when did you get in ?" 
" How'dy, Gov'nor, how'dy. Jest come, Gov'- 
nor, jest got in. Rid all night, so's to git here 
right soon of the mornin'. Got yore o'ders 'bout 
three o'clock yesterday evenin', an' saddled up 
my ole mar' an' pulled out. As soon as Jordan 
handed me them papers I knowed in reason some- 
thin' powerful lied happened. Sara Ann, thet 's 
ray wife, did n't want me to come a bit, but I said 
to her, ' Sarah Ann, the Gov'nor has sent fo' me 
an' I 'm agoin', an' thet 's the word with the bark 
on hit.' Wlien I laid the law down to her she 
knowed I meant business. If a fellow 's a-goiu' 
to do a thing, ho orter do hit, Gov'nor, and not 
be meally mouthed about hit. I brought four 
deputies along fo' company. Sorter feared to ride 
along by myself; made heaps of enemies by exe- 
cutin' them last o'ders yo' sent down thar, but I 
doan Stan' back on no o'ders. O'ders is o'ders 
down in my country, Gov'nor, and I wants mo' 
of 'em. I ain't afraid to execute no o'ders." 
And his lingo would have continued interminably 
had not the Governor broken it with a question. 
" Is everything quiet with you. Smith ? " 
' ' Yas, if anything, too quiet. The soldiers air 
a-comin' back home an' goin' to work again. 
Them ole airistercrats are workin' on their plan- 
tations jest like so many niggers use' to. An' 
they doan look to be ashame' of hit, neither. 
They air licked, but they doan show hit. They 
hoi' their haids jest as high as ever. I would like 
mighty well to git o'ders that would learn 'em a 
lesson. They treated me mighty oncry befo' the 



The New Man in Action TT^ 

war when I was try in' to make a hones' livin', an' 
I wants o'ders thet '11 reach to them now." 

"Well, I have a bill before me that will reach 
them and give you all the satisfaction you need," 
said the Governor. " This bill passed the Senate 
last night with only two dissenting votes, and in 
the House there were only five votes against it. 
It only needs my signature, and while it is fresh 
in my mind I '11 sign, and end the agony." And 
without more ado the Governor affixed his bold 
autograph to the measure. "There, that will 
give you and several other officers congenial busi- 
ness for the next month." 

' ' What is the law fo, ' Gov'nor, an' what does 
hit say to do ? " asked the willing officer. 

' ' It is a law to prevent the wearing of that 
accursed Rebel uniform. We don't propose to 
have secession stalking about in clothes, even." 

"Now yo' air a-talkin', thet's jest what we 
want, Gov'nor. Yo' need hit here mighty bad, 
too. I never seen anything like the ' free lovin 
thet is a-goin' on here in Nashville. I met up 
with more'n a dozen Rebels an' our boys a-walk- 
in' arm in arm, like they was brothers. Thet 
doan 'pear right to me. After we hev fought so 
hard an' long to crush out this cussed secession, 
to hev our soldiers a-walkin' with Rebels on their 
arms jest like thar never was no war, seems 
mighty pore business to me, Gov'nor," said the 
patriotic Jonas. 

"This bill must put an end to all such foolish- 
ness," said the Governor, with a knowing look in 
his cold eye. ' ' We can not put it into effect here 
in Nashville, because there are too many of our 



78 In the Wake of War 

soldiers here who have made up with the Hebels. 
But out in the country I expect to have it rigidly 
enforced, if it puts every Kebel soldier in jail, 
where he belongs." 

" I knows right whar to begin at, an' whar hit 
will do the nios' good. Give me oMers, Gov'nor, 
how yo' wants this law executed an' then look 
out fo' reports from ole Williams County." 

"It takes immediate effect," said the Gov- 
ernor. "They are entitled to no notice and I 
will give them none. You are to begin at once. 
The penalty is from five to twenty-five dollars 
for privates, and twenty-five to fifty dollars for 
officers, and our judges understand that we want 
the full limit of the fine. All you have to do is 
to arrest every person you see with that accursed 
grey suit on, and land him in jail. If they offer 
any resistance, declare riot, call out the County 
Guards and suppress it, but land the Rebel. I 
will furnish all the troops you need to enforce the 
law and keep the peace. The judges of the courts 
are instructed about bail. No one can act as 
bondsman who can not take the ' test oath. ' Now 
keep me advised from time to time how you are 
making out." 

"I reckon I can make out to fill orders, Gov'- 
nor, without a-callin' on yo' fo' troops, " answered 
the sheriff in all confidence. ' ' Yo' know we hev 
about two hundred in our County Guards an' they 
ail' with me on o'ders. If thet is all, Gov'nor, 
I'll be a-goin', fo' I am wantin' to feed my ole 
mar', start back an' git at this work right soon. 
I know whar to begin, Gov'nor, I know whar to 
begin. Good-day, Gov'nor." 



The New Man in Action _79. 

"Good-bye, Smith, and mind, let me have an 
early report." 

Several persons were waiting in the ante-room, 
and as the sheriff went out, the old negro Sam, who 
did service as major-domo, announced the name 
of Rev. Mr. Grayson. "Admit him," said the 
Governor. 

' ' I am right glad to see you, Grayson, " said the 
Governor. "I was thinking just now I would 
like to hav^e a talk with some of you Bureau fel- 
lows regarding your work. I have heard that 
you are to have a parcel of teachers, or sort of 
missionaries, down here from the ISIorth to edu- 
cate the niggers. Is that right ? ' ' 

"1 believe so, Governor," answered Felix, in 
his non-committal way. " In fact the first lot of 
them is due to arrive next week. They are to be 
placed about, I understand, at the different sta- 
tions of the Bureau to conduct schools, and help 
in religious exercises." 

' ' But I am told they are for the most part 
young ladies who have volunteered to come down 
here as missionaries, presumably without pay." 

" So I understand. Governor, 'without money 
and without price. ' It is certainly a very noble 
work, especially their efforts to elevate the reli- 
gious standard of the unfortunate colored man," 
said Grayson, with ministerial affectation. 

"Yon were born in the South, I believe, Gray- 
son?" enquired the Governor, quickly. The 
conversation was approaching an argument, and 
he drifted naturally toward personalities. 

"Yes, Governor, I have lived here a good bit 
of my life," Grayson answered, imperturbablj. 



80 In the Wake of War 

"Then you know what folly this missionary 
business is. There is something mawkish and 
morbid about it, as applied to this matter. When 
I was in the North they told me of young ladies 
having Chinamen in their Sunday-school classes, 
trying to convert and Christianize them. In some 
cases the teacher was converted, for she ran away 
and married Mr. John. Somehow this mission- 
ary talk calls to mind those stories. But what is 
to be the result of all this schooling — what is it 
for ? Do those politicians at Washington intend 
to make a voter of the negro ? " 

"I can not tell you, Governor," answered 
Grayson. " They have disclosed no plans for 
the future to us; they only issue instructions from 
day to day." 

" Oh, of course not. It is a political move, 
and for a good purpose — to control the vote of 
the South. But it will be foolish to enfranchise 
the nigger, and unnecessary. If other States will 
follow my lead in providing for voters, ' test oaths ' 
and ' amnesty bills ' of the right kind, we'll keep 
these Rebels where they belong until they die, 
and then they '11 just naturally go where they 
belong. I don't need any nigger vote." 

" I had not even suspected that such was the 
ultimate purpose of all this school-teaching, but 
perhaps it is. I thought it was a purely religious 
move, for the spiritual good of the negro; and 
while I sometimes questioned the good sense of it 
as a religious measure, I gave those engaged in it 
credit for honesty of purpose," said the evasive 
Felix. 

" These teachers may be honest, but they are 



The New Man in Action 8\_ 

deluded. You see the politicians had to work the 
religious dodge to get volunteers. But this is a 
bad business. The black man must emigrate — 
we shall have to colonize him. It is impossible 
for the two races to live together as equals before 
the law. The negro has been a servant, a slave, 
since Mr. Ham had a row with his father and 
wandered off down into Africa to populate the 
jungles. Every effort to raise him above that 
condition has been a failure. You can^t put into 
him the spirit of personal independence that is 
essential to a citizen." 

" I hope the experiment will not be made, for 
it might make trouble again in the South. Negro 
equality would be very aggravating to the people 
down here, at this time," said Grayson. 

" That's the only thing in favor of it. If you 
hear anything further about the matter, I wish 
you'd let me know," said the Governor in away 
of his own, that never failed to be understood as 
meaning, "this interview is closed," and without 
further talk Grayson withdrew. 



VII 

The Old, Old Story 

AFTER much contriving and joining together 
of odd parts, the Lewises and Graysons found 
that a work-harness sufficient to gear one horse to 
a plow could be raised between the two families. 
Their sky took on a rosy tinge. A harvest, 
plentiful to their famished eyes, seemed more than 
a promise to the young men. The dismal possi- 
bilities of late seed-time, or untoward drought, or 
the numberless other haps, cast no cloud. They 
understood full well the necessities of their condi- 
tion, and were willing to work. Why should they 
not trust the returning bounty of Mother Earth ? 
For once Major Lewis restrained his blunt satire, 
and allowed them, unhampered by suggestion of 
mischance, to figure on a certain crop. 

"I'll toss a coin with you. Manning, to see who 
has the first day's work with the patchwork out- 
fit," said Howard. 

"But where v/ill you get the coin ? " asked 
Major Lewis, quickly. 

"That's true, v/here i; " answered Howard, so 
dejectedly that all burst into a hearty laugh at his 
expense, 

"No, Howard, we'll take no chances on the 
first use of the horse and plow. You have most 
enthusiasm and shall have the first lick at the 
work. If you like I'll come over and lend a 
hand," said Manning. 



The Old. Old Story 83 

"Just like you again," cried Howard. " Well, 
come over to-morrow morning and I '11 show you 
how to make a corn crop. Don 't forget those 
straps, or we shall have no harness." 

Mary Lou now excused herself from the group, 
saying that she nmst prepare dinner. 

" May I walk to the house with you. Miss Mary 
Lou, and get a drink? " asked Manning. 

"Certainly," she answered, "I need a bucket 
of water from the spring, and you shall have a 
drink for fetching it." 

" Don't give him a mint julep, Miss Mary Lou. 
If there are any juleps in that spring, I '11 go for 
the water," said the Major. "That's another 
thing we 've lost in this cussed war. I never did 
drink much liquor, but when I want a julep and 
can't get it, I feel like I 'm in the dentist's chaii*. " 

As they withdrew. Manning Lewis, for the first 
time in his life, felt embarrassed in her presence. 
By reason of the long friendship between their 
families, they had grown up together from child- 
hood to a perfect exchange of confidences. In 
fact each had felt for years that the time would 
come when the union of the Lewises and Graysons 
would be made complete through their maijriage. 
Yet, prosy as it may be to admit it, no word or 
intimation ever had passed between them on the 
subject. 

She saw at once the cause of his hesitation and 
tried to avert the disclosure by opening the conver- 
sation in a way that would turn his attention. 
"How tired one gets of all this talk of crops. 
Shall we have no other subject for conversation in 
the future ? Crops are necessary, but shall our 



84 In THE Wake OF War 

thoughts never again soar higher than the tassels 
on our corn ? Is this the modern civilization that 
is to be introduced into the South?" But he 
answered in an incoherent manner that showed he 
scarcely understood her remarks. He cleared his 
throat and moved his lips, but no sound came 
forth. His voice never had failed him when he 
urged a hundred men to the charge, but now he 
felt the presence of a spirit stronger than all 
theirs. So they walked on in silence, her burn- 
ing face hidden in the depths of her sunbonnet, 
her eyes fixed on the ground. 

At last he took a new tack and blundered out: 
"I wanted to write to you, Miss Mary Lou, after 
I got my promotion." 

" Oh, brother wrote us all about it. Manning. 
We knew of it by the first post, and all about the 
services that brought the promotion. Howard 
wrote us very often, as you no doubt know." She 
answered with such apparent composure that his 
embarrassment was not relieved. 

" But that was not what I wanted to write you 
about," he cried, almost violently. "Not that I 
took pride in my promotion, but because — be- 
cause I have loved you all my life — that was 
what I wanted to write. But our mails were so 
uncertain, and then I wanted the pleasure of tell- 
ing you. " 

She stopped, and continued to look on the 
ground. At last she raised her eyes to his with 
childlike frankness and said: "I don't know what 
to answer you. Manning. Matters have changed 
so much — the future looks as strange to me as 
the present seems. For now, please withdraw 



The Old, Old Story 85_ 

your last remark, and let us go on as if you had 
not made it." 

"I can not, I can not ! I wanted to tell you 
before I went away with the army, but then I had 
nothing to offer you but myself, and I felt un- 
worthy. When I was a boy and first discovered 
my love for you, I often wished for a war in which 
I could distinguish myself, that I might deserve 
you. Now I have had the chance, and have little 
more to offer. But I will confess I did what I did 
more for love of you than for love of Country. I 
love the South and our rights, but in the field, on 
the march, or in battle, I thought of you a hun- 
dred times before I thought of them once." 

"No. no. Manning, I can not believe it. I 
have thought of you these four years as one who 
fought for the righteousness of our cause — don't 
disappoint me now." 

"It may be that you were the embodiment of 
our cause, but it was you. Could I love you and 
think of j^our having to live under other conditions 
than those to which we have grown up ? It may 
be weakness, it may be selfishness, but it was you. 
Your charming and lovable self was my star ; and 
now, after four awful years, I return to find you 
more lovely, more beautiful than ever. Our 
political hopes are swept away, but my love in- 
spires new hopes." 

' ' Whatever ray position, you will not press the 
question to-day. In the name of the friendship 
of our childhood, give me a little time,"" she 
pleaded. 

" How much time? How shall I know when to 
speak again ? I can not wait long, Mary Lou. I 



86 In the Wake of War 

have waited now until I have tried to do some- 
thing to deserve you. I am still unworthy, but I 
have tried." 

"I do not question your worth, Manning, and 
I can not now tell you my reasons, but you must 
wait for a time," she said. 

' ' May I not hope for an early permission to ask 
Colonel Grayson for your hand ? " he asked. 

"I can not tell you that, even. But give me 
your hand, and tell me that this conversation 
shall not be mentioned, and that we are still the 
friends we always have been." 

He took. her hand regretfully. 

"That ought to satisfy any man, for no other 
living man enjoys the friendship of such a woman. 
Well, give me the bucket and I'll begin to be 
your slave." 

' ' No, you may bring the water as my old-time 
friend, or help me to get dinner — not as my 
slave." 

" As you like," and he went toward the spring- 
house with the hardest problem of his life just 
propounded, and he forbidden to attempt its 
solution. 

What did it all mean ? Was everything swept 
away by the terrible deluge that had overwhelmed 
their Section 'i Was nothing left but waste ? Had 
people's hearts been conquered, like their armies? 
Some, he knew, had gone over to the enemy, easy 
prey to the victor. But Mary Lou was not of 
that class. Human hearts like hers, attuned to 
the integrity and sincerity of their customs; human 
hearts rooted in the ancient soil of their splendid 
civilization, could not be changed by the misfor- 



The Old, Old Story 87 

tunes of a day or a year. The cause of his disap- 
pointment was locked within her breast — some 
matter of conscience or duty, but right, he was 
certain. He would watch and soon it would show 
itself. Then he would come in and stop the silent 
tragedy. 

When left alone, Mary Lou neglected her work 
for a few moments' reflection. She had thought 
only a short time before that she loved Manning 
Lewis. She recalled how hearty and generous 
he was as a boy, and how he had grown to sin- 
cere and honest manhood, possessed of all those 
straightforward traits of character that women 
worth winning most admire. And now, without 
the sacrifice of a single personal virtue, he had 
made for himself a good record. He had shown 
himself composed of that mettle from which heroes 
are made. 

But he denied the influence of patriotism. He 
had confessed a selfish motive. Perhaps he had 
not analyzed his feelings to their full depths — 
he was mistaken in himself. Perhaps he was 
right, and she had never fully understood his 
character. 

The first shock of this blunt declaration having 
passed, she asked herself: " Why, after all, should 
not I be flattered by such a confession ? " To be 
the lodestar to a man through such dangers and 
privations exceeded her earthly ambition; to be 
invested by him with all his high ideals was more 
than admiration, it was little short of worship. 
She had known that he loved her, yet she never 
had thought of him as suffering the miseries of 



88 \H THE Wake of War 

war on her account. But did he love the South ? 
That was the question. 

This dream was of short duration, and she 
turned the drift of her thoughts. If she went 
away, who would care for her foster-father, and 
repay all his incomparable kindnesses ? She could 
not remember the time when she was left by the 
untimely death of her parents, a helpless and 
homeless infant, and he had taken her to his home 
and heart. She could remember only his contin- 
uous and unchanging tenderness and devotion. 
Kind, patient, considerate, loving; could a natural 
father be more ? All this, without nature's mys- 
terious bond of paternity! As much and often 
as she had thought of it, her obligation never 
before had seemed so great. 

And Howard, who had been the ideal brother! 
With his strong impulsive nature, which in youth 
was not always under perfect control, she could 
not remember that she had ever been made to feel 
that she was a foster-sister. He had prospects 
before the war that would have kept the homo 
together without her presence, but the events of 
the past four years had left a cruel wound in his 
heart. He now deserved not only a home, but the 
consolation of sisterly attentions. Was all this 
of Providential directing that she might make a 
silent sacrifice of her own hopes for their comfort 
and happiness? She could not make repayment; 
the debt was too great, but she could have the 
satisfaction of trying. Time and good fortune 
might change Howard's plans and then she would 
be free again; but this must come about naturally, 
and without selfish planning and scheming. 



The Old, Old Story J9 

So notliing remained for Manning Lewis but to 
wait and grope in the mystery — she could not 
explaii'i, and he must not carry his afflictions to 
Howard, In the meantime she could solve the 
question of Manning's patriotism. She could 
determine whether he fought for a record, or 
because he loved Southern rights. 



VIII 
Orders Is Orders 

WHILE this old conflict, as old as the human 
race, between Ideal and Duty was being 
fought to another draw, the other members of the 
family sat under the spreading oaks of the house- 
lot discussing the two problems of the times, the 
situation and the outlook. They were heedless of 
intruders, until they heard the tramp bf horses, 
and on looking up saw five men riding toward 
them. Each wore a blue uniform, evidently a 
castaway, and the one in advance displayed offi- 
cer's straps; on one fat, dum])y shoulder that of 
a captain, on the other that of a lieutenant. 

Major Lewis spoke up quickly: "As I 'ma 
sinner, there comes Jonas Smith with a posse at 
his heels; trouble is brewing from some quarter. 
They are turning in here. Have you anything 
left that they can carry off, Kodeny ? " 

"Nothing that would be" worth the time and 
exertion of that crowd, I believe," answered 
Colonel Grayson. 

"But what is Jonas Smith doing with a Fed- 
eral uniform on?" asked Howard. "The last 
time I saw him, the day I enlisted, he was on 
crutches at Kosciusko shouting louder for seces- 
sion than any three men who joined the army of 
the States." 

" Yes, that attack of rheumatism lasted until 
the conscript officers threatened to have him exam- 



Orders Is Orders 9\^ 

ined by surgeons, when suddenly Mr. Jonas dis- 
appeared. He remained in hiding until the fortunes 
of war were against us, and then suddenly reap- 
peared, well of body and changed of heart. He 
espoused the Federal cause with more vehemence 
than you saw him manifest for the Confederacy 
at Kosciusko, and now he is high sheriff of Will- 
iams County. Such is the genus patriot," said 
Major Lewis. 

" You can't mean to tell me that this scoundrel, 
who has been a negro-trader all his life, has 
turned his coat and now holds ofhce in Williams 
County," exclaimed Howard, with great surprise. 

"Yes, my son," said Colonel Grayson, "to 
just such depths have we fallen in these new 
times. That person, who never did, knowingly, 
a decent thing in all his life, and whose father 
ran an auction-block, is now sheriff" of our county. 
Captain of the County Guards, a man of author- 
ity and influence with the powers in control of the 
State Government; and, worst of all, in this new 
association, is a representative citizen. He may 
honor us with a discourse on treason, if he stops 
long enough." 

' ' Conduct the conversation, Rodeny, for I 
can't trust myself to speak with the contemptible 
cuss. You hate the damned nigger-trader as 
much as I do, but you have better control of 
yourself," said Major Lewis in an undertone, for 
the horsemen were then upon them. 

As they drew near. Smith was noticed to be 
giving orders, in response to which two of his 
followers deployed from each side and rode around 
until they encircled the party on the ground. 



92 In the Wake of War 

When they had brought their horses to a stand, 
Colonel Grayson looked up for the first time and 
spoke: "Good-morning, Smith, this is a fine 
summer's day." 

"Mornin', gentlemen, mornin'. A very fine 
day, Cunnel, jest as yo' say, a very fine day." 
Smith always repeated when he spoke to social 
superiors; he thought it added emphasis. "We 
air out executin' o'ders, Cunnel, executin' o'ders, 
suli. We could n't make our Confederate Gover'- 
ment hoi,' Cunnel — we got licked — an' now we 
must tu'n in, suh, an' support the ole Gover'- 
raent. " Colonel Grayson nodded assent to the 
patriotic Jonas, who Vv'as about to continue his 
harangue, when Major Lewis, forgetting his reso- 
lution, asked: " What orders bring you this way, 
Smith?" 

"Important o'ders, gentlemen, important o'ders. 
I 'm mighty sorry to say, but we shall hev to 
arrest Cap' n (I think thet 's his rank), Cap'n 
Grayson. Sorry to say so, but o'ders is o'ders." 

Major Lewis showed no surprise. 

" On what charge. Smith ? My son has taken 
the oath and expects to keep" his parole. I have 
never known him to be guilty of a felony or mis- 
demeanor, unless it be one to have a conscience 
and the personal courage to follow its dictates," 
said Colonel Grayson, with perfect composure, 

" No conscience an' no courage hev to do with 
the case, Cunnel. On them questions yo' hev 
always been souu', and the Cap'n too, accordin' 
to common remark in this neighborhood; but hit 
is against the law of Tennessee to wear thet Eebel 
unifo'm, sence we smashed the Rebel Gover'- 



Orders Is Orders ^ 

merit." Smith evidently had forgotten that he 
spoke a moment before as a member of the crushed 
cause. "We air o'dered to arrest every man 
wearin' thet unifo'm, an' o'ders is o'ders, Gunnel.'' 

"But my son has no other clothes to wear, " 
said Colonel Grayson. " Federal soldiers robbed 
my house of every article of clothing that my 
daughter had not already given to the negroes. 
Howard came home only last night, and you 
surely will give him an opportunity to clothe him- 
self according to the law; we do not aim to begin 
our new citizenship as willful law-breakers." 

" I hev no o'ders coverin' sech a case, Gunnel. 
Arrest him, gentlemen ! " The officers, who, 
perhaps never before had been addressed as 
"gentlemen," outside a bar-room, made no im- 
mediate response to the order, and Howard s])rang 
lightly to a tree and placed himself in attitude of 
defense. But his father with a mild movement 
of his hand, restrained him and said: "No, 
Howard, do not think of resisting the officers of 
the law." Then turning to the sheriff he asked: 
" You have a warrant from some duly authorized 
court, I reckon ? Would you mind allowing us 
to see it ? " 

"I hev n't no reg'lar warrant, Gunnel; no war- 
rant, only o'ders, suh," answered the sheriff. 

" You can not arrest a citizen in time of peace 
without a warrant, can you?" asked Golonel 
Grayson, calmly. 

"Oh, yas, I can. Gunnel, on o'ders. O'ders 
takes the place of warrants an' everything," de- 
clared the fledgling of authority, with great cer- 
tainty. 



9± In the Wake of War 

"1 won't submit to this, especially at the hands 
of such a scoundrel as Jonas Smith," cried Howard, 
in spite of the reproving look of his father. 

"Yas, yo' will, Cap'n. For I'm not only 
Cap'n Jonas Smith, but sheriff of Williams County, " 
said Smith with tantalizing superiority, and he 
drew a revolver from its holster at his belt. 

"Shoot, if you like, you turn-coat; you shall 
not take me alive," cried Howard, in desperation. 

But Colonel Grayson took a step toward his son, 
and said: " Go with them, Howard, and make no 
resistance, for they represent the present admin- 
istration of law in Tennessee. Major Lewis and 
I will go to Kosciusko and sign your bail-bond. 
This is a cruel business, but we must obey the 
laws, when we know what they arc. You can not 
ask even the satisfaction that this insult demands, 
for that implies that the offender is a gentleman. 
Go with them, Howard, there 's nothing else 
to do." 

The insinuation was lost on Smith, whose 
knowledge of the code went not beyond the plain 
challenge in writing, and with a show of considera- 
tion, he said: " We could shackel him, Cunnel, 
but bein' as he is a Cap'n, of the same rank of my- 
self, I '11 not show him thet disrespec'. Corp'ral 
Garrison, help the Cap'n on Lieutenant Brassley's 
mar' — she can carry double." Now Brassley 
had been, before the war, overseer on the only 
plantation in the neighborhood where slaves had 
been cruelly flogged, and he was more notorious 
for brutality and consequently more thoroughly 
despised by decent white people than the negro- 
trader, Jonas Smith. 



Orders Is Orders ^5 

"Must I submit to this new indignity, Father? 
Arrested by Jonas Smith, and carried off to jail 
by Zack Brassley! Shall I go, or die here and 
now ? " cried Howard. 

" I think it best that you go, my son." 

"Yes, Howard, it's better that some men 
arrest you, than that they say good-morning to you 
in the public street," put in the Major. 

Meantime, Manning Lewis had returned from 
the spring with the bucket of water, and as he 
came to the house he found Mary Lou on the front 
piazza looking anxiously at the crowd. 

"What can that mean, Mr. Manning?" she 
asked. "Those soldiers came so suddenly, and 
there seems to be some excitement. Can it be 
that we are to have more trouble ? Please go 
quickly and see what it means." And he started 
off at a run. 

"Oh, ho, here comes another criminal," cried 
the sheriff', as he saw Manning in his ragged old 
uniform. ' ' We shall hev to take him along, too, 
gentlemen. The Gov'nor say arrest every one 
with thet cussed uniform on, an' o'ders is o'ders, 
as I said befo'. Gunnel." 

"Yes, take him, too. Smith, "said Major Lewis, 
" my son shall take the same fate as his captain." 
Then turning to his son he continued: " Maiming, 
it seems that you and Howard are unconscious 
and necessary violators of laws enacted by the 
wisdom of Nashville and executed by the patriot- 
ism of Williams County. You are both under 
arrest. By our advice, Howard has submitted 
without resistance. I ask you to do the same, as 
you are equally guilty." 



96 In the Wake of War 

"Howard under arrest! Well, Mr. Nigger- 
trader, take me too ; we'll investigate afterward." 

The obliging corporal helped him to mount the 
horse with the second lieutenant, one Bonfir, who 
had served a term in the penitentiary for arson. 

"Major Lewis and I will be in Kosciusko as 
soon as you are," Colonel Grayson called after the 
young men as they rode away with their escort. 

' ' The worst of all this business. Major Lewis, is 
the blow to Mary Lou. She will feel the disgrace 
of this outrage most keenly." 

"She is a better philosopher and has more 
sense than all of us together," said the Major, 
" and will take in the situation at once. But you 
can 't go to Kosciusko and leave her here alone. 
It would n't be safe. The country is overrun 
with patriots of this new kind. I '11 go and 
arrange the matter of bail, and bring the young 
men home; then we will have another reunion. 
These reunions are pleasant, but may lose their 
edge through too frequent use." 



IX 

Ingratitude, Black Ingratitude 

BUT Sheriff Smith and posse were not to sail 
into harbor without encountering a storm, and 
that from an unexpected quarter. Pleas, who 
liad spent his first day of manumission in hunting 
out and doing odd jobs of repairing (such as he 
never had been asked to do in slavery), was try- 
ing to bring the gate post back to plumb when 
the officers with their prisoners rode down throngh 
the house-lot to the pike. He could not com- 
prehend the situation, and with the familiarity of 
a body servant asked: " Whar yo' go, Mars 
Howard ? " 

" Oh, 1 have to go to Kosciusko with Sheriff 
Smith, on a little matter of business," he answered 
indifferently. But this did not satisfy Pleas; on 
the contrary, it somewhat aroused his suspicion, 
and he stepped quickly into the road in front of 
Brassley's horse. The whole cavalcade came to 
a halt. "What business we got 'long with 
Jonas Smith ? He doan got no mo' niggers to 
sell, 'sides we nerr done no business with him no 
how. Whar yo' go, Mars Manning ? " 

"The Captain and I have to go to town on 
special business. Pleas. We will be gone bat a 
short while; we will be back directly," answered 
Manning. But Pleas refused to be put off, and 
took Brassley's horse by the bit. 

" Naw, suh, Zach Brassley, yo' caint ride no 

7 97 



98 In the Wake of War 

furder till ole Pleas nn'erstan's 'bout dis business. 
What is hit, Mars' Howard ? " 

Howard tried to speak, but could not utter a 
word. Something stuck in his throat. Smith, 
whose sentiment had not been touched, spoke up 
with some impatience : — 

" Cap'n Grayson an' Lieutenant Lewis air 
un'er arrest, an' yo' air resistin' the sheriff of 
Williams County. Get outn our way, nigger." 
Pleas did not move, nor relinquish his hold on 
Brassley's horse; he stood as if dazed and mut- 
tered : — 

"Mars Howard 'rested. Mars Manning 'rested; 
'rested by Jonas Smith an' Zack Brassley. Qual- 
ity 'rested by trash! " Pleas was the descendant 
of negroes that came out from Virginia with the 
pioneer Grayson, and was one of the few in 
Tennessee who continued to believe in and talk 
about quality. " Naw, suh, Jonas Smith, she'ff 
er no she'ff yo' caint 'rest my young marster an' 
tote him oft' to jail. Ole Pleas won' " 

"Get outn the road, nigger, or I '11 declar' a 
riot an' call out the County Guards," cried the 
sheriff, maudlin with rage at the defiance shown 
his authority. "I hev sole better niggers 'n 
yo' fo' five hundred dollars," he continued, com- 
pletely forgetting himself. 

"Pleas will make no trouble when he under- 
stands this matter," said Howard. Then address- 
ing his servant he continued, "Mr. Manning and 
I are arrested. Pleas, because we are wearing our 
old uniforms. We have to go to court and give 
bail or pay our fines. That is all. We'll be 
back directly." 



Ingratitude, Black Ingratitude 99 

<'I go with yo', Mars Howard. Ole Pleas doan 
trus' yo' long with nigger-beatin' Zack Brassley. 
Dis de new gov'ment I heerd yo' an' Mars 
JRodeny a-speakin' 'bout las' night ? Mighty 
trashy gov'ment! Nothin' good in hit fo' white 
folks, nor niggers, nerr. " 

And still he did not move, nor give up his 
hold on the horse. The officers were grumbling 
among themselves at the interruption and the 
indifference shown them by a negro slave; but 
Pleas heard not, or ignored them entirely. 

At last Howard said: " You go up to the house, 
Pleas, and help father. He needs you now." 

"If yo' go with dese men, lemme catch yo' 
hoss; yo' doan wan' to ride with dat Zack 
Brassley. We be 'ternally disgrace'. I bring 
yo' hoss right quick. Lemme help yo' to 'light. 
Mars Howard." 

"No, thank you. Pleas, I will go as I am. 
You hurry up to the house and help father," said 
Howard. And Pleas let go his hold on the 
horse's bridle and the posse moved on, but not 
till Corporal Garrison, who was their toady and 
philanthropist, suggested to him that he could 
learn things to his advantage at the Union League. 

As they rode away they heard Pleas muttering 
to himself: "Union League, Union League, I 
doan wan' no Union League. De niggers need a 
good beatin' an' be set to wuck. Union League 
with Jonas Smith an' Zack Brassley in hit!" 

Smith having exploded his mine of fury now 
fell to philosophizing: "What ungrateful critters 
niggers is! I hev worked fo' niggers all my life- 
long; hev took 'em from pore, bankrup' masters, 



100 In the Wake of War 

an' sole 'em to rich uns; hev carried 'em 'way 
from wives thet they was tired of, a hundred mile, 
an' sole 'em whar they could git new uns, an' 
now arfter we licv fought fo' years to give 'em 
lib'ty, they 'buse us. Thet's what I call ingrat- 
itude." 

"That might be called black ingratitude," sug- 
gested Manning Lewis. But the sarcasm never 
penetrated the mail of malice and egotism which 
enrobed the new government. 



X 

Wherein Instructions Season Justice 

THE triumphal entry into Kosciusko of Captain 
Jonas Smith and posse with their prisoners 
was accomplislied with more than a smack of classic 
pomp and glory. Its barbaric splendor would 
have been complete, only the victims had not that 
miserable and terrified look ascribed to them in 
the history of like brutal events in pagan Rome. 
But the indifference of the young men abated not 
one jot the blazing exultation of the officers. 

The conquering hero led the solemn procession 
over the rickety bridge, battered and blood-stained 
in honest battle, up a street, down a lane, and 
with a grand flourish into via sacra., toward the 
court-house. His husky valor flashed from every 
feature; dominion sat majestically on his two 
dumpy shoulders. 

The populace, mostly negroes who had deserted 
their masters after the issuance of the Emancipa- 
tion Proclamation, gaped lazily from cabins or in 
knots along the wayside, with inadequate appre- 
ciation of the grandeur of the occasion. One of 
the group standing at the entrance to an alley, 
along which was ranged a line of negro cabins, 
broke out with : — 

' ' De marster run, ha, ha, 
De darky stay, ho, ho." 

But he was frowned into silence by the uncertain, 
enquiring look on the faces of his companions. 



(02 (n THE Wake OF War 

The black man had not yet been taught that the 
white gentleman of the South was his mortal 
enemy. He knew that these two young men be- 
longed to the class that had given him food, cloth- 
ing, and medicine — all he ever had wanted or 
hoped for; that their persecutors were of the class 
that had beaten and sold him. He was then at 
rest, his passions were asleep, and his splendid 
philosophy had complete possession of his limited 
powers of thought. This and other like exhibitions 
of the new authority, intended to bolster his confi- 
dence and support, brought little peace to his 
unimpassioned meditations. The rule of his old 
master, even the rod of the cruel one, was a con- 
dition with which he was familiar and could cope; 
but this swelling sovereignty in the hands of 
vicious and designing men, forbode a thousand 
possible harms. And the negro, like all other 
people superstitious by nature and bringing up, 
will endure a present evil rather than exchange it 
for an indefinite promise of future good. To the 
superstitious mind there are no terrors like those 
of uncertainty. 

After the triumph of the victors had been suffi- 
ciently paraded, the vanquished were carried to 
the capitol for sacrifice. This was set to take 
place in the office of N. Lex Witan, magistrate, 
acting judge of criminal cases, who awaited with 
impatience his turn in the humiliating proceed- 
ings. In common with nearly all civil officers of 
the time, he usurped authority and assumed dig- 
nity double what the wretched laws bestowed. 
Not content with such an office as a justice of the 
peace usually occupied, he had taken possession 



Wherein Instructions Season Justice (03 



of the court room, and there enthroned himself in 
the seat of the Judge of the Circuit Court. Here 
justice of his own peculiar kind could be dis- 
pensed before large and appreciative audiences, 
to the terror of violators and the renown of the 
court. For, thought he: "What fame is there in 
star-chamber justice ? " 

The spacious room was filled with a freckled 
crowd of negroes and shiftless whites, when How- 
ard Grayson and Manning Lewis were brought in. 

All this marching and counter-marching had 
consumed so much time that Major Lewis was 
only a few moments behind the procession when 
it reached the court-house. As he rode up, a 
negro stepped quickly out from a group at the 
door and took his horse's bit with one hand and 
a stirrup with the other, saying: " Evenin', Mars 
Walker, evenin', suh; lemme help yo' 'light." 

"Why, good-evening, Mose! What are you 
doing here?" 

" I 's hyear to tell yo' thet I 's gittin' monst'ous 
tired of dis lib'ty they-all 's talkin' 'bout, an' I 's 
comin' back to wuck, ' ' said Mose. 

"I don't want you, Mose. You were the most 
trifling buzzard I ever had about me; never did 
earn a peck of meal a week. I was mighty glad 
to get shut of you. ' ' 

"I knows I was lazy. Mars Walker, but 'twas 
'case yo' secli a kin' marster. I wucks good, I 
will, if yo' only lemme come. Caint I come. 
Mars Walker?" pleaded the negro, with pre- 
tended pathos. 

"I would n't have such a no-account cuss about 



104 In the Wake of War 



me again," said the Major bluffly, but apparently 
relenting. "Hold ray horse a few minutes, while 
I attend to some business with Squire What's-his- 
name. " 

As Major Lewis entered the court-room, the 
magistrate asked the "prisoners at the bar" the 
question usually reserved for the trial: "Guilty or 
not guilty? " 

"Not guilty," both answered, confidently. 

"Not guilty?" the judge asked, peevishly. 
"Hit ruther looks like a clare case, young gentle- 
men. The Cote advises yo' to plead guilty an' 
pay yore tines, or go to jail like gentlemen. Hit 
looks, in reason, thet yo' air guilty." 

"But, your honor, perhaps not guilty in the 
manner and form charged," said Major Lewis. 

"The Cote is not bounden to hear outside argu- 
ment at this time, Major Lewis; besides hit is not 
a question of manner an' fo'm. I ask theni pris- 
oners at the bar of this Cote, ' Guilty or not 
guilty,' meanin', in reason, air they guilty of 
wearin' the Rebel unifo'm in time of peace, an' 
they both answers the Cote, ' Not guilty. ' Is this 
Cote bline? Doan this Cote recognize Rebel 
clothes when hit sees 'em? In reason, hit do. 
Then the prisoners air guilty, an' the Cote caint 
listen to no sech a plea. Hain't thet law? In 
reason, hit is," answered the great man, with be- 
coming official dignity. 

"If the court will allow me to suggest," 
continued Major Lewis, with unwonted patience, 
' '■ this is not a felony charge, only a misdemeanor. 
Should the young men be convicted, upon trial by 
a jury of their peers, the court could impose a 



Wherein Instructions Season Justice 105 

fine, nothing more. Am I not right, your honor ? 
That being the case, they are entitled to be 
released from the custody of these officers upon 
making bail-bond to appear for trial at such future 
day as the court shall appoint. Am I not right 
again, your honor?" The austerity of the judge 
began to break away before the arguments and 
courtesy of the Major, and he moved uneasily on 
the bench, and struggled hard to make his dull 
features look wise. Finally, he took from a shelf 
a huge volume labelled, "Laws of Tennessee," 
which he threw open before him with careless 
familiarity. This act spread a shower of dust, 
the accumulation of weeks, for the court seldom 
had need to refresh his knowledge by reference 
to books. He ran hastily up and down several 
pages of index, muttering solemnly to himself ; 
then opening it at random he wrinkled his brow, 
squinted his eyes and pursed his mouth over the 
first page exposed. Throwing back his head, he 
gazed into the dangling array of antique cobwebs 
that decorated the ceiling, and studied attentively 
their endless convolutions. The struggle was 
long and herculean, and he seemed several times 
on the point of agreeing with the Major, perhaps 
as the easiest escape from mental toil; when, with 
a start, he plunged an unwashed hand into a mys- 
terious rent in his coat-lining and drew forth a 
small packet. He unwound the paper wrappings 
and disclosed a letter bearing the stamp of the 
Chief Executive of the State. It contained his 
instructions for this class of cases, direct from the 
Governor. After reading, or pretending to read 
it, he called Sheriff Smith to his side and held 



106 In the Wake of War 



a whispered consultation, nodding frequently in 
token of approval. The crowd watched with close 
attention all these manifestations of wisdom ; and, 
when the great man had dismissed the sheriff with 
a wave of the hand and had looked straight before 
him into space a few moments, his countenance 
turgid with conviction and perspiration, there was 
a perceptible murmur of relief and satisfaction. 

' ' Wall, thet is a mighty big question an' the 
Cote finds the law about as yo' hev stated, Major 
Lewis; yas, yas, hit is a well-known principle of 
law; the Cote was about to define hit, only in 
mo' judicious language, of co'se. The gentlemen 
air entitled to bail-bond. Who '11 make hit ? " 

' • I will become their surety, if your honor will 
name the amount," said Major Lewis. 

"The Cote jedges thet between man an' man, 
about three thousan' dollars in each case the right 
amount." 

"Isn't that pretty steep, your honor?" asked 
Major Lewis. "What is the limit of the fine 
which the court is entitled to assess in case of con- 
viction? Ought that not to govern the matter of 
bail somewhat ? " 

"No, no, in reason, no. Thet's not the law, 
not the law. The Cote hev 'lowed yo' too much 
lib'ty of speech. Major Lewis. Bail is fixed at 
three thousan' dollars in each case." 

"Prepare the bond, if it please the court. I 
will sign and qualify," said the Major, abandon- 
ing all hope of a reasonable hearing. 

The magistrate, who had much ado to sign his 
name or to read others' handwriting, instructed 
his clerk to prepare the bond. 



Wherein Instructions Season Justice 107 

While this controversy was going on, the ex- 
pression on the faces of the crowd changed with 
the varying fortunes of the young men. The 
whites, who belonged to that worthless class that 
had always held the respectable element in envy, 
smiled when the court was austere, and frowned 
when it showed signs of relenting. On the other 
hand, the negroes, although they understood little 
of the proceedings, showed plainly their sympathy 
for the captives, and grinned witli satisfaction when 
Major Lewis confounded the court with simple 
questions. Had these ignorant negroes under- 
stood the unnecessary and vicious humiliation be- 
ing heaped upon the young gentlemen, they might 
have mutinied, and this history might not have 
been further enacted. So it was all over the 
South. The security of the new government in 
the practice of all its outrages, lay in the ignor- 
ance of the black man. 

After the clerk had scratched and scrawled for 
an immoderate length of time he placed the writ- 
ten documents on the desk before the judge, who 
gave them a satisfied glance and a series of ap- 
proving nods. 

"The documents is ready. Major Lewis; ac- 
cordin' to law yo' hev to qualify on yore oath." 

" I am ready, please the court; administer the 
oath." 

Then with a look of dull malice on his face the 
justice held out the moth-eaten old Bible and said: 
"Do yo' solemnly swear thet yo' air the owner of 
property, subjec' to execution an' free from incum- 
brance, wu'th six thousan' dollars, within the 
County of Williams an' State of Tennessee?" 



108 In the Wake of War 



" I do," answered the Major, bending forward 
to kiss the big Book. 

"HoP on thar. Major, hoi' on; the Cote is not 
through yit, " and reading with great labor, word 
by word, from the Governor's letter, he contin- 
ued: "Do yo' farther solemnly swear thet yo' 
air an' hev been a active frien' of the Gover'ment 
of the United States, a enemy of the so-called 
Confederate States of America, thet yo' ar-dent-ly 
desired the sup-pres-sion of the rebellion against 
the United States, an' thet yo' re-joi-ced in the 
ov-er-throw of said pre-ten-ded Confederacy, so 
help yo' Gawd?" 

For once in his life Major Lewis displayed the 
weakness of surprise, which quickly changed to a 
look of inexpressible disgust. 

" You have known me more than twenty years. 
Lex Witan, and in all that time have you heard 
anything of me that would lead you to suppose 
that I would make that oath ? " 

"No insult intended, Major, no insult in- 
tended. The Cote was followin' instructions. 
Thar they be," and the magistrate handed out the 
Governor's letter to supporfhis position. 

" I don't care for your instructions. You know 
my record during the late war as well as I know 
yours. Had it not been for infirmities received 
in maintaining the honor of this country in the 
Mexican invasion, you know I would have been 
in the army the States; but being incapable of 
military duty I served my people in another way. 
I did not shout for secession and then skulk until 
such time as I could turn my coat to serve my 
personal advantage. I can not take your oath." 



Wherein Instructions Season Justice 109 

" As I said afo', the Cote meant no pussonal 
insult; hit only followed instructions. In this 
Cote, Major, all is sarved alike — the rich an' the 
pore, the black an' the white, the high an' the 
low — accordin' to law an' instructions. Ac- 
cordin' to law yo' hev property, but accordin' to 
instructions yo' air not able to take the oath; so, 
in reason, the Cote caint take yo' as bondsman. 
Hev the prisoners at the — ' ' 

"These young gentlemen are not prisoners at 
the bar of this so-called court," broke in the 
Major, vehemently. ' ' They are not arrested on any 
warrant; they are not criminals. They surren- 
dered and came here voluntarily, because they did 
not want to resist the officers of the law. Now 
they will give bail, and if I am disqualified by 
reason of my services to what I thought were the 
rights and interests of my people, I think I can 
get one who will be acceptable to the court, under 
its instructions. You will give me a little time ? " 

"The Cote hev other cases to hear this evenin', 
Major, an' would like to git shet of this, 'gainst 
takin' 'em up," answered the man of instructions. 
In all his career as backwoods justice and all- 
round man without affairs. Lex Witan was never 
before known to be in a hurry. 

' ' I will return directly and advise you whether 
or not we can make the bond," said the Major. 
Then turning to Howard he continued; "While 
I'm away, Captain, you and Manning remain at 
the ' ba' of this Cote' as patiently as possible." 

Major Lewis hastened from the court room, 
mounted at the door, asked Mose to wait there 
for his return, and putting spur to the old horse, 



no In the Wake of War 

rode with all possible speed to the house of his 
old friend, Anton Nelson. He found Mr. Nel- 
son at work in the garden, and without stopping 
to dismount, called to him: "How-dy, Anton, 
come out here, please. I want to make use of 
your friendship and politics." 

" Good-evening, Walker. Can't you get down 
and come in ? I have not seen you since you got 
back from the last session of your Congress. 
What can I do for you ? ' ' 

Major Lewis dismounted and they started to 
walk toward the court-house. 

"Oh, it's that damned scoundrel Jonas Smith 
and his vagabond crowd ! They-all came by 
Elmington where we were sitting out under the 
trees in a very happy reunion, and arrested How- 
ard Grayson and my son and carried them over 
here, and are about to land them in jail. What 
for ? Simply because the boys have no clothes to 
wear except their old uniforms. I came in to 
sign their bail-bond, and what do you reckon that 
damned old fool, Witan, did ? Excuse my lan- 
guage, Anton; I 'm only trying to give you an 
idea of the folly of the case. Of course you 
can't guess! He refused to let me sign those 
bonds because I can't take a sort of test oath; 
that is, an oath that I rejoiced at the downfall of 
the Confederacy, and a lot more of such stuff." 

' ' He knew that you were too honorable to make 
such an oath, and why did he not tell you in the 
first place that his instructions required it of 
bondsmen ? No, no, those boys can't go to jail 
for any such trivial offense." 

" Exactly so, but they are threatened with just 



Wherein Instructions Season Justice III 

that humiliation," said the Major, " if I have not 
friends enough in the Union party to sign for 
them." 

"You have as many friends to-day, Walker 
Lewis, as ever. These ignorant, dictatorial fel- 
lows who have come to power and influence so 
suddenly never were your friends; they always 
hated a gentleman. You and I never did agree 
on the proposition. Union or Secession, but I 
never questioned your sincerity of belief or integ- 
rity of purpose, and this opportunity to prove it 
gives me particular pleasure. At what amount 
did they fix the bond for this silly offense ? " 

" At the ridiculous figure of three thousand 
dollars," answered the Major, with appropriate 
disgust. 

"Three thousand dollars! How foolish, yes 
more, how foolishly malicious. You know. 
Walker, that the better element of the Union 
men in the South does not approve of such 
methods, but we are powerless. These creatures 
outnumber and over-ride us. Then, too, they 
are more useful to some of the high State officials, 
who, I fear, are both malicious and designing. 
They-all have little more regard for me than they 
have for you. It seems to suit them best to be 
making a fight on personal decency. Among 
themselves, ' down with the aristocracy ' is quite 
a watchword. They will soon overthrow them- 
selves — such methods can not long prevail — and 
then I hope we shall get affairs into better hands." 

Anton Nelson, a Whig before the formation of 
the Republican party, had been always an intense 
Union man; yet so sincere were his convictions 



112 In the Wake of War 



and so upright had been his life, that his most 
bitter political antagonist respected him. Only 
once during the heat of debate and agitation that 
preceded hostilities had he been insulted because 
of his stand; and that was by a worthless crowd 
of the Jonas Smith stripe. This was promptly 
avenged by his personal friends and neighbors of 
the secession party. When armies were mustered, 
he left his family in his own house at Kosciusko, 
went to East Tennessee, joined the Federal forces 
as a common soldier and served well until per- 
manently disabled by a wound. 

Like every man who has brains enough to 
harbor convictions and the personal courage to 
stand for them, he was the friend of every honest 
soldier. Partisanship has no place in the wonder- 
ful free-masonry of the brave. 

Contrary to the expectations of Mr. Nelson, his 
suggestions were received by the mighty judge 
with cringing servility. Bail was reduced from 
three thousand to one hundred dollars in each 
case, without other parley than: "Jest as yo' 
thinks best, Mr. Nelson, as yo' thinks best. The 
Cote aims to make hit big enough so they won't 
jump the bond. But yo', bein' of our party, air 
entitled to a leetle better terms." 

' ' I am a member of the Union party, Squire 
Witan, but not of the party that makes such foolish 
arrests as this one, and names such outrageous 
bond as three thousand dollars when a hundred is 
almost exorbitant," replied Mr. Nelson. "Such 
acts as these will bring the Union party into con- 
tempt with the very people who otherwise would 
come to our support." 



Wherein Instructions Season Justice 113 

"Jest sign the bond right here, Captain Nelson, 
right here. On the line, near the bottom, Captain 
Nelson, Oh, yo' doan hev to swear 'bout hit, 
Captain Nelson," jabbered the magistrate, who 
feared a further lecture on the subject in hand. 
He felt his dignity would be forever undone, if 
this harangue should continue in the presence of 
all the multitude. But for all this official anxiety, 
Mr. Nelson did not sign the bond until he had 
read it carefully and suggested several changes, 
mainly to correct the absurd spelling of common- 
place words. 

"Now, administer the oath," said he. 

" Yo' doan hev to swear, Cunnel Nelson," said 
the justice, in such confusion that he advanced 
Mr. Nelson clean over the ranks of major and 
lieutenant-colonel in less than three minutes. 

"In the first place. Lex Witan, I am not 
Captain Nelson; in the second place, I am not 
Colonel Nelson; but plain Anton Nelson, or Mr. 
Nelson, or Private Nelson, as is most convenient 
for you. And in the third place, I want to be 
treated like my old-time friend, Major Lewis, was 
treated; administer all the oaths you deem neces- 
sary to perfect security in this case." 

"Certainly, Major — Cunnel ^ — Mr. Nelson. 
Do yo' solemnly swear thet yo' will support the 
constitution of the United States, the constitution 
of the State of Tennessee, an' the constitution of 
the Union League of America, an' nerr reveal hits 
secrets, so help yo' Gawd 'i " 

' ' So far as all those constitutions and secrets 
have to do with bail-bonds, I swear," answered 
Mr. Nelson, with infinite disgust. A snicker or 



114 In the Wake of War 

two from the audience apprised the justice of Ids 
blunder, and his confusion doubled, for he held 
out the Governor's letter of instructions instead 
of the Bible, and said, with perfect gravity : "Kiss 
the Book." 

Mr. Nelson did not kiss the letter, but in clear 
desperation grasped the pen and signed the bonds 
without further to-do, and then led the way out of 
the court room. 

Major Lewis, whose sense of sacrilege was not 
touched by the blundering substitution, roared 
with laughter and apologized in the same breath 
to Mr, Nelson for adding to his embarrassment. 

' ' What are we to do, Walker, with such officers 
in power?" asked Mr. Nelson. 

' ' It seems to be easy for you, but what would 
we poor Rebels do if we had no friend like Anton 
Nelson to stand godfather to us in trouble ? I 
can't express my gratitude for this friendly act." 

Howard and Manning both started in to deliver 
little speeches but their benefactor cut them off 
abruptly: — 

"Hold up, please! Excuse me for interrupt- 
ing two gentlemen at once,- but I am no hero. 
I'm already thanked beyond the worth of my 
services. You-all are bound to leave me in debt 
by your courtesy. If you young gentlemen had 
to be arrested, it was a very happy fate that 
plucked me out of my garden with the cry, ' You 
have friends in trouble.' So you see, I am the 
only person who has got any real, substantial 
glory out of this infamous business. I need no 
thanks. Besides, this little matter is less than 
nothing compared to what I have felt at liberty 



Wherein Instructions Season Justice 115 

to ask from Colonel Grayson or Major Lewis any 
day for thirty years." 

<'But that should not abate our gratitude, and 
if you won't let me try to express my feelings, I 
shall hurry home and tell father all you have done 
for us, and I shall not fail to mention your per- 
verse modesty — if you will excuse the adjective," 
said Howard. 

"Come back to the house and get a snack to 
eat, and after a smoke take my old horse to help 
you home. Perhaps Mrs. Nelson will hunt out 
some clothing for you to wear until you can better 
provide yourselves. ' ' 

"Thank you, Mr. Nelson, but if you can lend 
us two good muskets and a dozen rounds of 
ammunition, you will do us greater service," said 
Manning Lewis. 

"No, Manning, Mr. Nelson's offer is more 
sensible for now," said Major Lewis, thought- 
fully. ' ' Wo are too weak in numbers to be 
drawn into a conflict with these usurpers of bad 
authority. If their violence is continued, we 
must find means to meet it with, but we can not 
do it single-handed. I did not agree, on first 
thought, with Colonel Grayson, when he advised 
surrender to Jonas Smith, but now I see the wis- 
dom of his course. What say you, Captain ? " 

" I will not contradict you and Mr. Nelson and 
father as to the best course, but I wish Manning 
and I each had a musket," said Howard. "It 
might come in handy one of these evil days." 

" I don't reckon you will be interfered with 
any more," said Mr. Nelson, "especially for 
such trumped-up charges," 



il6 In the Wake of War 

The snack had been eaten, and the young men, 
mounted double on the borrowed horse, had 
taken leave and were riding away, when Mr. 
Nelson called after them: — 

"When eulogizing me to Colonel Grayson, 
just add, that as I have found my influence so 
strong with the administration, your cases may 
never come up for trial. Can't tell, of course, 
but that is possible." 



XI 

One of a Type Almost Extinct 

AFTEK Pleas had done a few trifling jobs he 
became absorbed in solicitude for his young 
master. He upbraided himself for having receded 
from his original purpose to go along with the 
officers. He could not work; in all that sea of 
havoc he could find nothing that needed to be 
done. Time moved so slowly, and anxiety swelled 
so rapidly within him that he found on calculation 
he could not contain his forebodings single-handed 
until Howard's return, so he posted off through 
the fields to tell his troubles to Uncle Phil and 
Aunt Manda. 

He never had liked very well these two old per- 
sons. Uncle Phil was forever preaching, which 
bored him insufferably, for he wanted no other 
religion than that of his young master, which was 
more liberal in sort than the "hardshell" pre- 
cepts of the old man. And Aunt Manda, who 
had been Howard's nurse, still chose to exercise 
more proprietorship, and practice more dictation 
over him than Pleas thought was profitable, espe- 
cially from a woman. He did not love to think 
that any one, save perhaps Colonel Grayson, had 
the right to correct or control his young master; 
and the privilege of mild admonition, by means of 
timely suggestions, he reserved to himself alone. 
But now he was in trouble, and like many a man 
of less courage and more learning, he sped 
straight for the nearest preacher. 



118 In the Wake of War 



Aunt Manda saw him approaching and cried: — 

" Whar yo' young marster at, whar meh baby? 
Doan yo' brung 'im home ? Whar is he ? " 

"He come home with me las' night; he all 
well. Ole Pleas brung him home all right." 

"Bless de Lawd ! Bless meh baby!" And 
she called to Uncle Phil: " Come hyear, ole man, 
Mars Howard home." 

"Doan I tell yo' I hed a veesion las' night? 
De Lawd show me Mars Howard jes' as plain, 
Doan I tell yo' dis mawnin', Manda?" said 
Uncle Phil, as he hobbled out of the cabin. 

" Yas, yo' 'lowed yo' seen 'im, an' yo' reckon' 
he daid, case he come to yo' in de veesion, yo' 
ole preachin' fool," answered Aunt Manda, who 
had little reverence for the cloth outside the 
pulpit. 

"Oh, I said dat jes' to pesterize yo\ Manda," 
said Uncle Phil, with masculine superiority. "I 
nerr reckon' Mars Howard shu' 'nough daid." 

But Aunt Manda grew suddenly serious, and 
turning quickly to Pleas, said: " Look-a-hyear, 
nigger, suthin' wrong. Why doan Mars Howard 
come an' see ole Mammy? " 

Pleas was clearly taken by surprise on this 
question, but quickly rallied and explained, with 
all necessary invention, how his young master in- 
tended to come back to see them the first thing in 
the morning, but that matters of business had 
very suddenly called him and Mr. Manning to 
Kosciusko. 

"Business teck err one our folks to Kosciusko 
'fo' he show 'spects to ole Mammy! Naw, suh, 
Pleas, yo' caint lie to dis ole nigger. Come 'long 



One of a Type Almost Extinct 119 

ole man, git yo' ready. We goan down to de gret 
house an' see 'bout dis business. Dare 's suthin' 
wrong 'bout hit. ' ' And the old people disappeared 
in the cabin. 

The house occupied by Uncle Phil and Aunt 
JVIanda was above the average negro cabin. It 
stood back full three hundred yards from the 
quarters, upon the rise of a round-faced knoll, 
about one cheek of which flowed the waters of 
Opal creek. The location was selected by the old 
man a half century before this history begins, 
while he was yet in the vigor of his priesthood, 
because of the deep pool in the creek which served 
for baptizings and foot-washings, ceremonies in 
which he had unbounded faith. And as neither 
his religious zeal nor his love of ceremonies 
abated with advancing age, this choice seemed 
little short of prescience; for the frequency with 
which he "went down into the water," regardless 
of weather or of his own infirmities, would have 
taxed a younger and warmer-blooded constitution, 
had not a roaring fire or a change of clothing 
awaited near at hand. 

Here the pioneer Grayson had enclosed about 
two acres of land and built a cabin full twice as 
large as any of those occupied by ordinary slaves, 
and had installed Uncle Phil as lord of the manor. 
And each succeeding Grayson had recognized and 
remembered the rights of the old man in such 
substantial form, that if the plantation had passed 
out of the family Uncle Phil could have remained 
a free man and a land owner. So his seigniority 
was fixed and unquestioned until he took his third 
wife, Aunt Manda, when suddenly he found him- 



120 In the Wake of War 

self shorn of six-sevenths of his dominion. But 
as he was old and feeble, and preferred emancipa- 
tion from material affairs, he was quite content 
with the seventh-day reign. He gave all his time 
to matters spiritual, and in the proportion that his 
glory smouldered through the week, it blazed in 
seven-fold splendor on Sunday, when the old pul- 
pit was dragged from behind curtains that shut it 
in like the Ark of the Covenant in the temple of 
old, and benches were placed in the cabin, and 
Uncle Phil defied age and infirmity and the Devil 
in his regular two hours of preaching. Here all 
the negroes of the neighborhood had been used to 
collect of a Sunday afternoon; and so famous was 
the piety of the old man, that he usually counted 
a few white faces in his congregation. 

The back yard had been planted to orchard 
when the cabin was built, and now yielded fruit 
beyond the needs of the occupants. The front 
was used for a garden. This had been maintained 
by hands from the quarters, since Uncle Phil had 
become too old to tend it. And now that the 
negroes had left the plantation, this, in common 
with the rest of the place, was taken with weeds. 
The elevation commanded a raking view of the 
whole place, and as Pleas waited for the old peo- 
ple to arrange toilets he cast his eye over the pano- 
rama of destruction, and for a moment forgot his 
troubles and fell into a reverie: " Dis sutnly is 
shamefu'; de tine s' plantation in de wurP, I 
reckon, gone t' smash! De niggers all runned 
'way, when we mos' needs 'em. Dey needs a- 
beatin', dat's what dey needs. Dey doan need 
no lib'ty. But Mars Rodeny nerr did beat 'em. 



One of a Type Almost Ext[nct 121 



an' dey won' do no good 'thout beatin'. Dey as 
well go fo' lib'ty." 

He was interrupted here by the appearance of 
the old people, decked out in Sunday raiment, 
Aunt Manda's ponderous form encased in her red 
and yellow calico, and Uncle Phil in clerical 
■ black, with his funeral silk hat on — by odds the 
best clothing on the plantation. 

To this point the result of Pleas' s visit had been 
unsatisfactory, and the probabilities all read: 
"Cloudy and threatening, with thunder and light- 
ning possible at any moment." He had started 
out with the full purpose of tolling them of the 
outrage perpetrated by Jonas Smith and posse, 
but the sight of Aunt Manda with all her bluster 
forbade the subject. There are characters so 
belligerent as to make terrible the very mention 
of trouble. He then had made mental shift to 
kill time in recounting the real and imaginary ex- 
ploits of his young master as a soldier. But the 
anxious turn in Aunt Manda had stopped this 
prospective vent. So now he was left without 
alternative. He had to walk back sullenly over 
the ground by which he had come, and listen to 
the brow-beating of an old fat negro woman, as 
she heaped suspicion and abuse upon him, and 
discredited the only tale he had been allowed 
to make. In vain he tried to turn the conver- 
sation to the field of glory. Aunt Manda could 
not make room in her mind for more than the 
one absorbing idea: "Suthin' wrong 'bout meh 
baby." Uncle Phil trudged meekly behind, 
mindful that his call to speak was from Above, 
and that without the sustaining property of pulpit 



122 In the Wake of War 



and Book, his feeble voice carried no conviction 
to his present audience. 

When Major Lewis and the two young men 
rode up to Ehnington to begin again the reunion, 
they found their party increased in numbers. 
Aunt Manda waited for no ceremony. Her place 
was first by all custom and usage, and still puffing 
and perspiring from her walk she rushed out to 
meet them, crying hysterically: — 

' ' De Lawd bless meh baby ! Come to yo' 
Mammy ! Come kiss yo' Mammy ! " 

And Captain Howard Grayson, the hero of 
many a charge, the gentleman of aristocratic birth 
and rearing, the young man of petty pride, uncov- 
ered his head before this black old slave, and 
kissed with honest affection her streaming cheeks. 
She wept on his shoulder, she patted his cheek, 
she called him by all those endearing names that 
only a negro mammy of the old type knew. Her 
joy was complete. 

Uncle Phil, grave and serious, stood back, hat 
in hand, awaiting his turn in the proceedings. He 
was too wise to interrupt. When at last there 
was a lull, he moved confidently forward, ex- 
tended his feeble old hand and said: "Gawd 
bless yo', Mars Howard ! Yo' ole mammy done 
been monst'ous mis'able 'bout yo'; an' Uncle 
Phil he pray err mawnin' an' night an' all day, 
an' all night when de mis'ry in hes laig kep' him 
'wake, dat de good Lawd 'tect yo' an' brung yo' 
safe home. Doan I, Manda?" 

Aunt Manda could but nod consent when she 
saw before her, safe and sound, the object of such 
honest supplication. 



One of a Type Almost Extinct 123 

"And the prayers of the righteous availeth 
much," said Major Lewis, with abnormal sincerity. 
But he spoiled it by adding: "At least, that 's 
what I tell Mrs. Lewis by way of encouragement, 
when things come her way. ' ' 

"I thank you. Uncle Phil, for all your kindly 
interest. Through those years of danger and 
suffering, I have thought so often of you and 
Aunt Manda. You -all were my constant com- 
panions. Pleas in person, and you and Aunt 
Manda in memory." 

All felt that the ceremony of reunion was now 
complete, and the Lewises took leave and started 
for home. Colonel Grayson thought something 
ought to be done for Pleas, that he had been 
unduly overshadowed by the importance assumed 
by Aunt Manda, so he said to her: " You must 
remember, Aunt Manda, that Pleas deserves much 
credit for the safe return of Mr. Howard. He 
shared with his master every danger, nui'sed him 
in sickness and guarded him in a thousand ways, 
as only a faithful servant knows how to do." 

"I was studyin' 'bout dat as we was comin' to 
de gret house," said Aunt Manda. 

Before they went to the house, Felix Grayson 
drove up with a smart horse and shining carriage, 
the outfit of an agent of the Freedmen's Bureau. 
He scarcely waited for a formal " good-evening," 
he was so much excited. 

"I have just learned of the arrest of Howard 
and young Lewis, and of the parade that was 
made of them. That was a shame, and I could 
have helped you if I had been in Kosciusko. 
It is the work of the State authorities and not of 



124 In the Wake of War 



the Federal Government. I intended to be in 
Kosciusko at noon, but was detained at Nashville. 
It is too bad, too bad." 

" It was a very nasty business," said Colonel 
Grayson, "and I can not understand the animus 
of it. Perhaps it is the old grudge that low 
breeding bears to decency; perhaps Jonas Smith 
is but the agent and tool of others at present 
unknown to us. It showed us that we have 
friends in the Union party, at any rate, and I 
reckon that is some compensation. Won't you 
get out and take dinner with us?" 

"No, thank you, Brother Rodeny; I have an 
engagement. I will try to arrange matters so 
you will not again be disturbed, for this, if con- 
tinued, will flavor of persecution. I hope Mary 
Lou is well. Please give her my regards. If I 
can be of service to you, Brother Podeny, don''t 
hesitate to call on me. By-the-way, have vou 
taken the oath of allegiance yet ? " 

"No, not yet," answered Colonel Grayson. 
"Major Lewis and I were talking about that this 
morning, and we agreed that we should wait a bit 
and see what kind of a government we were to 
have before attaching ourselves to it. If Lincoln 
had lived there would be no hesitation, but now 
we shall see what the politicians will do." 

"Well, I must be going. Good-evening, How- 
ard; good-evening. Brother Rodeny." 

" He doan speak to no niggers. He doan mine 
thet Aunt Manda kerried him when he baby. 
Em-m, an' what a on'ry chile he war ! He none 
our folks ; an' he a-doin' of no good 'bout hyear, 
nuther," said Aunt Manda, as he drove away. 



XII 

Corn Bread and Sweat of the Brow 

PROMPT to his appointment, Manning Lewis 
arrived " at the crack of day " next morning 
with a bundle of mildewed straps and a shuck col- 
lar, his contribution to the work-harness. All the 
scraps were marshalled into a row of astonishing 
worthlessness; and after much labor by the rule 
of "cut and try " the gear was assembled, although 
with lawless disregard to the original purpose the 
parts were intended to serve. 

The old bull-tongue plow was dragged from 
hiding, a sight in rusty and soggy decrepitude. 
Everything was complete after its kind, only there 
were no lines with which to rein the horse. Their 
best skill and contrivance could not devise even a 
jerk-line. 

"All the better," cried Howard, determined to 
see only success, " we can divide the work easier. 
One can hold the plow while the other leads the 
horse, turn and turn about. Otherwise you will 
be forever fussing lest I do more than my share. 
I'm glad there are no lines." 

"Besides, the old horse may need support. 
The poor beast has been ridden so hard and 
dieted so carefully, that I doubt if he has strength 
to haul a plow without staggering. I speak right 
now for the first turn at the handles," said Man- 
ning. 

125 



126 In the Wake of War 

Pleas gave such assistance as he could, but he 
knew nothing about farm work; and if he had 
been put to it to hitch up the horse, he would 
have thought more than likely that the plow han- 
dles were intended to serve the same purpose as 
shafts on a buggy. 

Uncle Phil came down tolerably early, ostensi- 
bly to witness the beginning of operations, but he 
called Colonel Grayson to one side, and with a 
little ceremony of a confidential and mysterious 
purport, dropped some yellow coins in his hand, 
saying: " Manda 'lowed as how Mars Howard 
home yo' monght wan' a leetle money." 

"That is very thoughtful of you. Uncle Phil. 
How much is left ? " 

" Hight peart heap. Mars Rodeny. I brung 
yo' mo' termorrer?" 

"I will let you know. Uncle Phil. Times are 
not such as to encourage one in a display of ready 
money. Wait a few days yet until we see if these 
soldiers disturb us again." 

Colonel Grayson came forward chinking the 
gold in his hand. " You see our bank has not 
suspended payment," he said. "As you know, 
I placed with Uncle Phil for safe keeping our sil- 
ver plate and a quantity of gold coin that I had 
on hand when the war was brought down into this 
Section. He proved, probably with the conniv- 
ance of Aunt Manda, a closer banker than I had 
anticipated; for when the dark days came and the 
South was in such straits for money, I went to 
him for the balance. I thought we could do with- 
out it, and that we had not the moral right to 
withhold a cent; but do you reckon he would give 



Corn Bread and Sweat of the Brow 127 

it up? Not Uncle Phil! He brought us regu- 
larly our accustomed allowance for meat and 
bread, but not a penny more. Mary Lou saved a 
large portion of this and I carried it to our camps, 
but no argument or plea or threat could dislodge 
his purpose to keep back the bulk of it. I even 
read to him the story of Ananias and Sapphira, 
and still he was obdurate, the only time in his life 
that he stood out against the plain word of the 
Scriptures. He said he was keeping it until How- 
ard came home." 

" Dat was Manda, Mars Rodeny," said Uncle 
Phil, not without pride in his own independence, 
for all he gave his wife the greater part of the 
credit. "She 'lowed as how I was keepin' hit 
fo' Mars Howard. She nerr lemrae git no 
mo' as jes' so much, an' Manda she mighty 
peart at countin.' An,' an' yo' knows, Mars 
Rodeny, Manda am monst'ous parseverin'." 

After this little matter of finance was arranged, 
Uncle Phil withdrew to the shade of the nearest 
tree and contributed volumes of advice, and after 
each mishap, fairly biistled with admonition. 
The plow hung to a snag, and one of the handles 
gave the lieutenant a humiliating thrust under his 
guard, landing plump on the ribs. 

" Doan I tole yo', Mister Manning? She 
mighty pesterin' ole plow; she breck yo' laig nex', 
I knowed dat ole plow 'fore Mars Rodeny war 
borned; she mighty on'ry." 

For all the unpromising beginning and the con- 
tinued breakdowns and discouragements the work 
went on, and before noon quite an expanse of 
weed and foul grass had been torn up, and the 



128 In the Wake of War 

black earth laid open for a respectable planting. 
The soil was dry and hard, already baked by the 
shriveling drought that followed the ravages of 
war in the South and lasted through the summer 
of 1865. But our farmers were hopeful and 
determined. They could not believe that nature 
would refuse to nourish their handiwork. Ac- 
cordingly, a quantity of seed-corn was brought 
from pole stringers in the attic where it had hung 
unclaimed these four seasons, and by night a crop 
was in the ground. 

The following day this performance witli horse 
and plow was repeated in Major Lewis's garden. 
The Major looked on for a time, and then with- 
drew to the shade for a little self-communion, but 
Mrs. Lewis interrupted his monologue by coming 
out to enquire how the work progressed. 

"Magnificently, my dear, magnificently," he 
answered, with mock enthusiasm. "Self-reli- 
ance is a beautiful thing in real life, but the 
reflection that the grandsons of General Mortimer 
Lewis and Captain Howard Grayson have no 
other vehicle than an old bull-tongue plow with 
which to show force of character, drove me into 
the shade to cuss the situation. Yet, if they 
have to work like niggers, they better do it here 
than to take a profession, for I still hold that 
tilling the soil is the gentleman's occupation," 

" But this exuberance of spirits will soon work 
out, and then they will be willing to hire negroes 
to do their plowing," said Mrs. Lewis, with hope 
to pacify the Major's raging emotions. 

"Take this chair, my dear. No, you don't 
want to go back to the house. Listen to me, for 



Corn Bread and Sweat of the Brow 129 

I have an inward call to storm. What you said 
just now by way of encouragement is what I 
somewhat fear and most dread. If they should 
quit work, that would be the very devil — excuse 
the expression. If this zeal proves of hot-bed 
growth, its great shoots will wither under this 
burning sun, and then there will be nothing to 
show for it but an extra growth of rank weeds 
where they are breaking up the ground to-day. 
They would be discouraged, not for a day, but for 
life, and become worthless members of society. 
That would be the immediate result, and a very 
humiliating one for you and me. But the other 
possibility, and it looks like a very natm'al proba- 
bility, pesters me for ultimate results. Those 
young gentlemen have no idea of being discour- 
aged. It's not in their blood. If these efforts 
fail from lack of experience or bad weather, they 
will go at it again. They will succeed in the end. 
And then what have we ? With self-made success 
and prosperity comes self-assertive manhood — at 
least, it's called manhood. The good Lord 
deliver us in the South from a race of self-made 
men ! Then comes posterity that parts its name 
on one side, and hair in the middle ! We have 
enough of those fellows in our social enter- 
tainments now. Think of it, two or three genera- 
tions hence there may be a J. Walker, or a Z. 
Manning, Lewis ! May the devil take the ticky 
thing for his own ! Then, we are on the Yankee 
basis, which the best of them admit to me has 
come to mean : one generation between dirty 
shirt and dirty shu't. Such is self-made manhood, 
so-called, and such are its results. This plantation 



130 In the Wake of War 

may belong to a Lewis in one generation, and in 
the next to his Dutch overseer, who will call it his 
'varum,' and who will cut the shade trees out of 
his pastures and plant the whole place to sauer- 
kraut. Then after his soul goes to lager beer 
glory, a Lewis will have got money enough in mak- 
ing wooden nutmegs, or in a government contract, 
so that he can buy it back, with the graves of his 
ancestors, and the Dutchman's into the bargain. 
Think of the time when your poor clay and mine 
shall be the chief consideration in a commercial 
transaction ! Better that it plug a crack and stop 
a draught — but we can't all be Caesars." 

' ' But, Walker, the South will never come to 
that. Our civilization is too old. I think you 
are borrowing trouble in very large quantities. 
The Lord will preserve us from such unholy 
degeneration," answered Mrs. Lewis. 

"You will remember that I asked Him in my 
distress, to deliver us. I do not recant now in 
my calmer mood. I hope it is borrowed trouble. 
If it is, I promise solemnly to pay it back with 
interest, and I have kept all my obligations to this 
time. But, to tell the whole truth, I rebel at the 
loss of the nigger. He was in his God-given 
sphere at work on this plantation. It was best 
for him, enough sight better than loafing about 
the Freedmen's Bureau studying deviltry with 
vagabond whites. I stand for the good of the 
nigger. What is good for him is good for me." 

"But, Walker, what is to be done?" asked 
Mrs. Lewis, quietly. She had ideas of her own, 
but realized that the Major had not finished. 

" Oh, nothing, or wait, which amounts to the 



Corn Bread and Sweat of the Brow I3I 

same thing. A little time will show whether we 
are to become a people of bustle and greed, or to 
go on as a people of contentment and gentility. 
I am so scared of this damned — excuse the 
expression — self-madeness, that I am miserable 
all the time. My experience with that swelling, 
assertive class has been most unfortunate. We 
had better stay poor and take our place in the 
world with the despised ' shabby genteel. ' I 
reckon I better carry a bucket of fresh water out 
to 'the hands,' now that my bile is worked off 
a bit. I don't want to be a drone in this busi- 
ness. Will you walk back and lend to the work 
the encouragement of your smile?" 

' ' If times change as you anticipate, Walker 
Lewis, you will be at the very head of the pro- 
cession. You are not so devoid of ambition as 
you would have us believe," said Mrs. Lewis. 

"No, my dear, you flatter me; I'm too lazy. 
I don't mind a little work now and then, but do 
you know I took on a contempt for labor very 
early in life ? Those Yankee-made copy books 
that we used down in the Old Field school, had 
stiffly written precepts about the dignity of labor, 
which I had to copy by the page, or take a flog- 
ging. You know wliat scorn I have for dignity 
— as Sterne says: ' A mysterious carriage of the 
body to cover the defects of the mind.' Dignity 
and labor; labor and dignity; dignity, labor. 
I don't like either, and I hate the combination. 
No, this threatened change in our civilization is 
the work of the Devil, and I mean to avoid him 
at first, and resist him afterwards ; but to swap my 
bu-thright for self-made manhood, never." 



132 In the Wake of War 

They found the work going bravely on. The 
young men were begrimed with sweat and dust, 
but not dismayed. While they rested and ate 
a snack of corn bread, the conversation turned on 
the crop prospect. 

True to the Major's prediction there was no 
discouraging the young men. They were at no 
time after the first tv;o days moved with more 
than dogged determination. Enthusiasm seemed 
to give place to cool, calculating purpose, the 
quality that surmounts not one, but countless 
obstructions. So they soon overshot their orig- 
inal purpose to plant only a patch of corn, and 
prepared ground with elevated bedfj and walks 
between for a full assortment of garden truck. 
This they did without knowing where the seeds 
were to come froui, but Felix Grayson, who 
often came that way in the alleged discharge of 
his duties, volunteered to supply them from the 
Bureau's storehouse. 

" As a personal favor. Brother Kodeny, " he said, 
patronizingly. ' ' The department has an abundance 
and the negroes will not plant so long as we feed 
them; why shouldn't you have seeds? Besides, 
the Lord has pronounced a curse on him that 
heapeth up the corn, while his brother is in need." 
"If not in violation of the rules of the depart- 
ment, Felix, I shall be glad to pay for as much 
as the young men need. It will save a trip to 
Nashville, and these are awkward times for us to 
travel. We will pay so long as we have money, 
for we are not beggars from the Federal Govern- 
ment. We surrendered to become supporters, 
not hano;ers-on." 



Corn Bread and Sweat of the Brow 133 

"As jou like; then I will sell joii what you 
need." 

Accordingly seeds were bought and paid for, 
and two full gardens were planted. 

Then came the tedious and anxious season of 
waiting on a change in the weather. Day after 
day the heavens were scanned for a cloud, and if 
one appeared, no matter how small or how fluffy 
and woolly its texture, its possibilities were calcu- 
lated, its course traced. They watched the sun- 
rise for the lowering flush, and the sunset for the 
glow of promise, and such signs as their eager 
hope or wistful fancy discovered, failed with 
more than proverbial precision. An occasional 
spot of ground that contained some lingering 
moisture, shot up tiny yellow blades that shriv- 
elled and withered in the broiling sun. It was not 
a go. Their crop was a sickening failure so far 
as any well -in tended effort can fail. 

But their spirits did not flag, nor did the work 
abate. Each for himself carried on rebuilding in 
such a manner that intelligence and determination 
seemed to supply fully the lack of experience and 
training. Great gaps in the rock walls were 
closed, not smoothly, but solidly. And the war 
on weeds was waged with the brush blade, instead 
of the plow. 

The sight of gentlemen who had been raised to 
lives of elegance and ease, at work as common 
laborers in fields over which, before the war, they 
rode only to hunt or carry instructions to an over- 
seer, was not uncommon at this period. Nearly 
all the soldiers wlio were to return were at home. 
All found the same fortune awaitins; them and all 



134 In the Wake of War 

were afield. Everyone bad his till of war. He 
did not surrender while there was left one spark 
of hope, or one remnant of desperation. 

Like a martial ]>eople, they appreciated and 
were grateful for the magnanimous terms made to 
them by the victors. They could not have asked 
so much. In fact, they bad expected less. As a 
consequence, those who received this generous 
parole, had no thought but to keep it. Faith in 
Lincoln, and Grant, and Thomas, knew no limit. 
With the vanquished it was even more open and 
unbounded than it was at the North, where a spirit 
of vengeance, especially among those who had 
bled by proxy and substitute, deprecated the easy 
terms of peace. 

But this parole, unprecedented though it was, 
bound the Government as well as the ex-confed- 
erate. The Government was not without its 
duties. It was obligated to protect the citizen 
who had returned to his allegiance, so long as he 
was law-abiding. And he had no other inclination 
or purpose. Peace and good-will were all he 
asked for — faith for faith. He asked for no 
sympathy. He stood like a man to receive the 
natural and reasonable consequences of his pre- 
vious course, under the terms of his surrender. 
This penalty he had to surfeit in the devastation 
of his home, the suffering of his dear ones, the 
disorganization of social customs, the humiliation 
of his defeat. He only asked for an opportunity 
to repair, as best he could, the waste of four 
years of civil war, and to drive hunger from liis 
fireside. Luxuries he had foresworn; necessities 
occupied his thought. 



Corn Bread and Sweat of the Brow 135 

This purpose was best evidenced by his acts; 
he was at work. He had hoped, he had a right 
to expect, that he could do this work in peace. 

Yet, common as was the spectacle, it seemed to 
possess a growing charm for worthless whites and 
renegade negroes. Scarcely a day passed that 
Howard Grayson and Manning Lewis had not 
each an audience, sometimes large and appreci- 
ative, from these classes, to note their operations. 
It seemed as if this proceeding was not only con- 
certed, but a regular occupation, for when Man- 
ning and Howard met and compared experiences, 
they discovered that the uninvited guests of 
Elmington one day, appeared at Fairfax the next. 
And later on it was found that they made regular 
rounds of the neighborhood. 

Not the least frequent of these visitors was 
Jonas Smith, whose promotion to authority had 
brought him a stock of energy. He was con- 
sumed with business engagements, but always took 
time from public service to stop and harass, as if 
it were a part of his official duty, some gentleman 
toiling with destruction. But Jonas had been a 
failure all his life. He was born to be of no 
account, and had early struck his lead, and this 
new employment, as results showed, was well- 
matched to his breeding and nicked perfectly with 
his genius. Some men are born with wonderful 
talent for being ignored. They fail to awaken in 
those with whom they come in contact either of 
the godlike attributes of friendship or sympathy, 
or even the human attributes of pity or contempt. 
So it was with Smith. With all his zeal and 
malice he never proselyted a convert to the gov- 



136 In the Wake of War 



ernment he served, and aroused only one man to 
deadly enmity. That man was Pleas. 

It came about in this way: One day as Howard 
and Pleas were rebuilding an opening in the rock 
wall along the pike, the sheriff and posse stopped 
to mark the progress of the work. Smith was 
talkative, and said: " Yo' take a-hole of thet 
work mighty peart, Cap'n. Whar did yo' larn 
farmin'? Yo' air a good han'. I am thinkin' 
of buyin' a plantation on the waters of ole Opal 
an' I would n't min' hirin' yo' fo' overseer." 

"Oh, thank you, Smith, I have all I can over- 
see right here, for the present. Between putting 
this place to rights, and listening to the annoy- 
ances of officers I reckon I shall be right busy 
for a time." 

"No damage done, Cap'n, no damage done. 
If yo' wan' a cash job, yo' knows whar to hunt 
hit," said the sheriff. 

"I reckon it is sometimes well to know where 
one can find a cash job, but I shall have to do 
with what I can get out of this." 

When the posse rode on. Pleas said: " Dat 
Jonas Smith git hisself hu't, an' hu't bad, he doan 
min'. He come 'long hyear insultin' ge'men, 
case dej wuck." 

"He can't insult us, Pleas. Nothing he can 
say can touch us. We are not in his class, and 
can't be," replied Howard. 

"He git hisself hu't, yo' hyear Pleas a-talkin'. 
Hit may not be terday, ner termorrer, but he git 
hu't. We doan teck no mo' he smart talk." 

Two days after, the offense was repeated with 
added contumely, and to Howard's surprise Pleas 



Corn Bread and Sweat of Brow 137 

gave the posse the encouragement of a forced 
laugh and a sly wink. Later in the day, when 
they were alone, he said: "I reckons I move 
outn de house, to de quarters, Mars Howard." 

" What does that mean, Pleas? Your room is 
more comfortable than any of the cabins. I don't 
understand this." 

" IV won' tell Mars Kodeny ? Say yas. I 's 
goan jine dis League, de Union League, or Loil 
League, dat meets at Kosciusko. Mars Eodeny 
mought not like hit, but I 's goan jine." 

" Of course you can join it if you want to, but 
what for ? " 

" Doan zactly know, but I been studyin' 'bout 
hit sence day 'fore yistiddy, and I's goan jine." 

" You are a free man, Pleas, and have a right 
to join the Union League if you want to. But 
there is something back of all this that you don't 
want to tell me," said Howard. 

' ' I doan know what back, or front of hit, Mars 
Howard; I's goan jine, an' doan wan' Mars 
Rodeny to know. I nerr jine 'thout yore knowin'." 

There was such an air of mystery about the 
negro that, for a time, Howard regretted that he 
had been so free with his consent. He knew well 
enough that Pleas was not in sympathy with the 
League, and that he despised the negroes who 
spent most of their nights in its meetings. None 
of them had been about soliciting his membership, 
and where could he have acquired so suddenly the 
notion ? There was some scheme plotting in his 
mind, yet Pleas had been always the most straight- 
forward and disingenuous of creatures. It might 
be bravado, it might be curiosity, it might be that 



138 In the Wake of War 

he feared mischief was being plotted against them, 
and he thought he could best serve his master by 
knowing what was going on behind drawn curtains 
and locked doors. So the subject was dropped, 
and Howard helped to prepare the way for Pleas 
to change his room for one of the cabins back of 
the house, without arousing the suspicion or 
opposition of Colonel Grayson. 



Xlil 

The Glorious Climate of Canada 

THE next day while the Graysons were at din- 
ner, Pleas came into the house carrying a per- 
fumed card which he handed to the Colonel. 

"Here, Howard, read the name, please, my 
glasses are not at hand. My eyes are too old for 
such fine script." 

Howard took the card, glanced at the name, 
and dropped it near Mary Lou, as if it had burned 
his fingers. She read aloud: "John Dodge," 
Mary Lou and her foster-father exchanged glances. 
Howard looked intently at the plute before him. 
No one spoke for a full minute. At last Colonel 
Grayson recovered from his surprise and asked: 
"Where is Mr. Dodge, Pleas?" 

"Out'n de front, suh, in de span'est kerrige 
yo' err seen." 

"Go out quickly and take his horse and tell 
him to come in. For once, surprise made me 
forget the hospitality due from this house. I 
must be getting old and weak. Run out, boy, 
and hold his horse," said Colonel Grayson, with 
marked impatience toward himself. 

"He got two bosses, Mars Rodeny," said Pleas 
with tantalizing deliberation, as he looked at 
Howard, expecting him to speak. 

"Well, take them both, and be quick about it," 
answered the Colonel. 



140 In the Wake of War 



"Will you excuse me, Father? I prefer to see 
Mr. Dodge for the first time outside our house, 
where I won't be under the ban of hospitality," 
said Howard. 

' ' You had better remain and say ' how-dy, ' then 
withdraw if you like. There will be an abundance 
of time to see him after to-day," replied the 
Colonel. 

"As you say, Father; but I fear I shall show 
my contempt for a coward, in spite of myself." 

Just then heavy footsteps were heard shuffling 
down the hall, and a loud, husky voice of some 
one talking to himself, said: "Perfectly natural; 
just like coming home," and the burly form of 
Mr. Dodge filled the dining-room door. 

"How are you, Colonel Grayson, my old friend 
and neighbor? Glad to see you; hope you 're all 
well. Ah, Miss Mary Lou, prettier than ever ! 
And Howard, my boy, you 're looking well. 
This don't look like war, just the same sweet and 
happy family as of yore. How are you all?" 
This Mr. Dodge delivered without seeming to take 
breath. In fact, it used to be said that he never 
took breath, that breath was forever going out of 
him. While yet he was speaking. Colonel Gray- 
son extended his hand, and when he had an 
opportunity, answered: ' ' I hope you are as well as 
you look, Mr. Dodge. We are in excellent health 
here, thank you. You took us entirely by sur- 
prise. We had not heard of your return. Won't 
you sit down and have some dinner? " 

Mr. Dodge measured the scant prospect with 
a glance. "No, thanks, had dinner at Kosci- 
usko, Just got in; took everybody by surprise. 



The Glorious Cuhviate of Canada 141 

Came through by freight; brought some horses 
and carriages. Thought the horse stock 'd be run 
down by the war. Can't drive a hack horse, you 
know, always loved a good horse. Ill have a 
few good mares to sell. Yes, my health 's good, 
thanks. That Northern climate 's wonderful 
stuff — bracing, invigorating. No liver trouble 
there. I left here a sick man, awfully sick, but 
in less 'n a month I was a new man. Have n't 
seen a sick dtiy since, but now I 've been off the 
cars only three hours and my tongue is coated. 
My teeth are all covered with fur. This is a 
horrible climate for a man with a liver." And 
he made the usual grimace of a healthy man 
trying to convince others that he is sick. 

"But it is much healthier now than it was two 
months ago," Colonel Grayson put in at the first 
lull. 

"Yes, yes, I guess so," answered Mr. Dodge, 
quickly. He did not want to surrender the 
floor until he had made his case. " But you 
know I was sick in the spring of '61; had to get 
away; and as luck would have it, went to the 
right place exactly, Hygeia Springs, Canada, just 
across the river. Fine air, sparkling water, no 
malaria — the very place for a man dying of bil- 
iousness. Got well in a few days, and then got 
into business; great country for business the last 
four years. Wanted to come back and east my 
lot with my people down here, but could n't leave 
my business. Was kind of speculating, and had 
to watch my irons. They burn quickly up there 
if they aren't watched." 

' ' I reckon then you have closed out and have 



142 In the Wake of War 

returned to live with us ? " enquired Colonel 
Grayson. "We shall be glad to welcome you 
b— " 

"Yes, I'm all cleaned up," Mr. Dodge broke 
in, without letting Colonel Grayson finish. 
" Thanks for the welcome. I knew I 'd be wel- 
comed back to old Williams County, especially 
as I brought a carload of the finest horses that 
ever looked through a collar. Yes, if I can 
stand the climate, I '11 stay. I 'd like awfully 
well to go back North and be in business a few 
years — business is business there now. Money 
is money. If you need any money, old friend, 
don't hesitate to call. You know I 'm always 
ready for business. By the way, do you know 
where Margaret is ? She gave me the slip up 
North, and played me a nice trick to boot. Oh, 
she 's her father's daughter, she 's smart. You 
were a soldier in our cause, Howard. Did you 
see her ? Or were n't you in a hospital ? " 

" I was a soldier, Mr. Dodge, but did not see 
Miss Margaret, and have not heard from her since 
she went away with you, for your health. 1 was 
fortunate enough to make no hospital record," 
answered Howard. 

" I had two letters from her," said Mary Lou, 
looking guiltily at her brother, " but they were 
badly delayed in the mails. She was in a hos- 
pital, near Atlanta, nursing our wounded soldiers, 
and in poor health. " 

"This blasted climate again. She ran away 
from me in less'n a week — as soon as she saw I 
was out of danger — leaving behind a foolish note 
in which she said she was going to be a nurse. I 



The Glorious Climate of Canada 143 

feared she couldn't get through the lines to our 
army, but she did. I afterwards got two letters, 
but our mail service down here was awfully bad. 
That 's one reason we failed, mail service so bad. 
1 tell you we can't do business without mail serv- 
ice, and we can't carry on war without business 
behind to support it. Up North the Yankees went 
to the war at first; but they soon got wise and 
hired substitutes to do the fighting, and stayed at 
home themselves and did the business. Lots of 
business during exciting times. People don't 
stop to ask the price. And let me tell you, the 
man who don't ask the price before he buys, gets 
roasted, roasted good and hot. Lots of lying and 
cheating; can't believe anybody; have to do 
business on your own judgment. No such thing 
as personal honor. If a man calls you a liar, 
just tell him he 's another, and both are right and 
no feelings hurt. They don't fight over such a 
little thing as being called a liar, for they know 
that it is bound sooner or later to be true. To 
one who has lived down here where every man's 
statement goes for truth, whether or no, all this 
seemed strange. Down here a gentleman's word is 
always good, although his written promise to pay 
may sometimes fail. We have always gone on the 
theory that the law will take care of the written 
obligation, and that every gentleman ought to 
protect his word. TFp there one has no security 
unless the agreement is signed, sealed, witnessed, 
and stamped with a revenue sticker. I didn't 
like it at first, but business was so lively I soon 
fell into the ways of the country. I can't remem- 
ber that it used to be so in the East, but I suppose 



144 In the Wake of War 



it was, for there are millions of New England peo- 
ple in the Northwest, and a Yankee 's a Yankee 
wherever you find him. All kinds of business are 
good — merchandizing, trading, government con- 
tracting, and lending money. And then there 
were millions made buying aud selling substi- 
tutes. Perfectly legitimate business, and all cash. 
The substitute's a good fighter, and makes a 
respectable corpse in uniform, with a flag wrapped 
around him, ha ! ha ! But I must find Margaret 
— she's my only child. I got to talking again 
and forgot her. Near Atlanta ! I suppose there 
are lots of hospitals near Atlanta, and it might be 
a big job to find her. I guess I '11 write — but, 
no, I must find her for certain. You see, the ras- 
cal played it on her father. She took the notion 
into her head before we left here that I was going 
to sell the old home place, where her grandmother, 
her mother, and herself all were born, and where 
her mother is buried. Foolish notion, but she 
wouldn't give it up. She would n't move a peg 
to go with her poor sick father, until he promised 
to give her a deed to a hundred acres, taking in 
the house and burial yard. Well, I promised, 
thinking she would forget it next day. But trust 
Margaret not to forget ! She gave me no peace, 
sick as I was, until that deed was signed, executed, 
and delivered to her. And then she took ' French 
leave,' as I have told you. I most find her." 

Howard and Mary Lou exchanged glances, and 
a calm came over the face of the young man that 
it had not worn since he returned home. 

" Something must be done, and that right 
quickly," said Colonel Grayson. " Suggest what 
you would like us to do." 



The Glorious Climate of Canada 145 

" I thought at first we 'd write to some of the 
authorities in Atlanta, bnt mails are uncertain, 
even now. Perhaps we 'd best to telegraph, but 
that is expensive. What shall I do, my old 
friend? Help me with your advice." 

"By all means, drive at once to Kosciusko, 
and telegraph to the Provost-Marshal at Atlanta, 
and he will answer you directly," said Colonel 
Grayson. "In a matter like this there can be no 
uncertainty. We should have undertaken it long 
ago had Mary Lou told us that Miss Margaret was 
sick. For some reason, probably a good one, 
she has not mentioned it before." 

"I could not. Father," said Mary Lou. 

" Well, come on, Howard, and go with me to 
Kosciusko. I will see if that deed has been 
placed on record, and then telegraph to Atlanta. 
I want to get settled down and go to business; can't 
lose time; must get that deed back and Margaret 
home, sick or well, and then start into business. 
Suppose things are mightily run down at the house. 
Just drove into the yard and saw Uncle Sam a 
minute; did n't get out of the carriage. What 
do you suppose he was doing ? Good old nigger, 
but he 's got no business sense! He was carry- 
ing water in an old cracked gourd, from the spring 
away up to the burial yard to sprinkle the flow- 
ers on Mrs. Dodge's grave. Faithful old creature, 
but not capable of making a living. Yes, he's 
pretty old for that. He said he had seen rather 
tough sledding since I left, especially the last 
year. You see I was n't here to feed him. Said 
something about Miss Mary Lou giving him some 
clothes and food, but I was looking at a gap in 



t46 In the Wake of War 

the rock wall and did n't quite catch his remark. 
He 's his own man now that he 's free, and I don't 
suppose I 'm liable for his support, though Mar- 
garet will probably take a different view of the 
matter when she gets here. Have Federals both- 
ered you ? They are getting awfully smart. 
Officers from up North are sending home all 
sorts of valuable things; confiscation they call it. 
I call it robbery. One colonel in Detroit sent up 
a whole outfit of family portraits, taken from the 
house of one of our families in the South. He 
was no relation to them, and what could he want 
of the pictures ? He could n't sell them for a 
cent ! Strange, ain't it ! " 

" We have heard of those things being done in 
other parts of the South, but not here. General 
Thomas, in command of this division, is too much 
of a gentleman, and too high-minded a soldier to 
permit such an outrage," said Colonel Grayson. 

" So I understand. They 've confiscated some 
of my land, but I don't expect to have any trouble 
about it. I '11 get good rent for it out of the Gov- 
ernment. I know Congressman Challoner, of 
Michigan, intimately. I got him a substitute for 
eight hundred dollars, when the regular dealers 
wanted a thousand; and, as sly as you keep it, I 
made two hundred on the deal besides the fifty 
old Challoner gave me out of sheer gratitude. 
He'll work my claim through Congress; just watch 
me make out a bill! Let's be going. Confound 
it all, I got to talking again and forgot that deed, 
and Margaret. Come on, Howard. Good-bye, 
my old friend and neighbor, until we meet again; 
good-bye. Miss Mary Lou." And he hustled down 



The Glorious CuiwiATt of Canada 147 

the hall, followed bj Howard, who had forgotten 
his resentment. 

The contradictory character of John Dodge 
had been the one perennial problem of Williams 
Countj since he dropped into this community 
twenty-five years before this history begins, a 
teacher in Mr. Nash's academy. He came from 
Harvard with the recommendation of his profes- 
sor in mathematics, a thing easily secured by one 
of Dodge's patronizing manner. For a while he 
filled the limited requirements of an instructor in 
a preparatory academy, but devoted most of his 
time to studying, and adjusting himself to the 
new conditions by which he found himself sur- 
rounded. Born and brought up in the abolition at- 
mosphere of New England, he had entertained 
very radical views on the subject of slavery; but 
now he found himself put to the alternative of 
changing these views or returning to the North. 
There were better possibilities in the South, so he 
set to the not difficult task of proselyting himself. 
This he had to do or leave Tennessee, for what- 
ever he thought or believed, he had to speak and 
speak often. He was a person who was radical 
on every subject, after he had decided which 
course he would best pursue. 

At that time the country was torn with threat- 
ened nullification. South Carolina was attracting 
the attention of the world with her own peculiar 
views on the rights of the Sovereign State. So, 
being a creature of extremes, he not only adopted 
the creed of slavery, but went to the very limit 
and became a rabid Nullifler. He made speeches, 
wordy and vehement, and proclaimed his purpose 



148 In the Wake of War 



to leave Tennessee and emigrate to the headquar- 
ters of his new doctrine, in order that Mr. Calhoun 
might have the benefit of his valuable support; but 
as South Carolina bade fair to place herself in open 
rebellion with the rest of the country and there 
was a tinge of possible danger, he continued to teach 
fractions and decimals in Mr, Nash's acaderaj^ 
and to submit to discipline from the worthy head- 
master, who did not share his extreme views. This 
seemed to chafe him somewhat, but his valor suc- 
cumbed to prudence, and he ceased to appear in 
public debates, and all went well for a time. 

But it so befell that Colonel Saunders, a verj 
prosperous planter whose place adjoined Elming- 
ton, was a States' Rightser of the most radical 
sort, and he took the fledgling into his confidence 
and counsel. Here young Dodge found consola- 
tion and tutelage, and the twain passed nearly 
every evening, after school hours, in promulgating 
to each other, with great vehemence of argument, 
the doctrine of nullification. 

And Mr. Dodge soon found that he had builded 
better than he knew. Colonel Saunders had a 
daughter somewhat past the age of matrimonial 
expectancy, and several years the senior of the 
young tutor, who came to exhibit deep interest in 
those political discussions, and was not without 
sympathy for the political offender. To curtail a 
long recital, which might seem to the reader to 
partake more of neighborhood gossip than of 
serious history, the forces of nullification in that 
community were united by the bond of matrimony, 
iind, on the invitation of Colonel Saunders, were 
mobilized under his roof. 



The Glorious Climate of Canada 149 

Straightway, the young man forgot his political 
enthusiasm, and confined his discussions to an 
after-dinner debate over a mint julep or a toddy, 
leaving the propagation of the heresy in the world 
at large to Colonel Saunders. 

With the same zeal that he displayed in the 
cause of nullification, he now plunged into matters 
domestic. At home he talked and bustled about 
affairs on the plantation, and abroad he ceased not 
to persuade young gentlemen of the blissful condi- 
tion of the marriage state, and to exhort them to 
follow his example. This mania lasted for a few 
years, and was followed by one for hunting, which 
filled the house-yard with loud-mouthed, sheep- 
killing hounds, that never were led to the chase 
but were a constant nuisance to the neighborhood. 

So it went on from one harmless fad to another, 
until the year 'Gl, when Mr. Dodge suddenly be- 
came seized with the idea that he was a very sick 
man, and must make a radical change in climate, 
and for once he did more than talk. In the mean- 
time Colonel Saunders and Mrs. Dodge had died; 
and John Dodge found himself, half by inherit- 
ance and half as guardian for his minor daughter. 
Miss Margaret, lord of the Saunders homestead, 
which seemed to his ever enthusiastic fancy to 
comprise a goodly portion of the habitable globe. 

And now he was back with a new fad, business. 
His sojourn in the North during the war had filled 
him with the same exaggerated notions of business 
that he had previously entertained on other sub- 
jects. Evidently he had made a few trades, and 
as he was too thrifty to take chances, he had in 
all probability bettered his financial condition. In 



150 In the Wake of War 



all these different aspects of his mood, he had 
been a man of good domestic habit, always a 
kind, and at times an affectionate husband and 
father, a peaceable and a conciliatory neighbor, a 
man of integrity, perhaps because he lived in an 
atmosphere of honesty, a man with few friends 
and no enemies. He had no qualities except 
good humor that men could love. He was too 
spontaneous and childish to be hated. 

The sun was going down, a red, dronthy ball, 
when Howard and Mr. Dodge returned. Colonel 
Grayson and Mary Lou were sitting on the front 
veranda, noting the dry promise of the closing 
day. 

"How coarse in appearance and manner Mr. 
Dodge has grown since he went North," said 
Mary Lou. 

"Yes, he has taken on much flesh, and appears 
to have added persistence to his bustling manner," 
answered Colonel Grayson. "The persistent man 
is the most rude and tiresome of all creatures, and 
I regret to mark the change in Mr. Dodge. He 
was a splendid neighbor, a man of excellent inten- 
tions. But he has been always a creature of 
environment, so easily influenced for good or ill — 
not that I think he would readily follow into bare- 
faced immorality. But he likes to do whatever 
he sees others do, especially those for whom he 
has a liking or in whom he has confidence. I 
hope he will settle down on the old place and 
resume a quiet life again." 

"He appeared positively gross to me m that 
flashy suit of clothes, and reeking with perfumery. 
If I had not known him favorably before, and if 



The Glorious Climate of Canada 151 

he were not Margaret's father, I should hope he 
did not come again," replied Marj Lou. 

"I noticed all that, Mary Lou, and more, but 
don't you think you are a little moved by preju- 
dice?" asked Colonel Grayson. 

"Possibly so. Father. I can not conquer my 
dislike for a cowardly man, and I can not treat 
him as I am inclined to do. How different Mar- 
garet is I All the sweetness and gentleness of 
her mother, and all the force of her grandfather. 
You do not know her story yet, but when you 
do you will admire her more than ever." 

" I have believed her capable of any good deed, 
and have looked for her to come to a beautiful 
life," said Colonel Grayson. " Suspend judgment 
on Mr. Dodge a few weeks, until he has again 
fallen in with his old surroundinffs. " 

As the carriage drew up through the trees, Mary 
Lou rose and walked impatiently back and forth, 
and before it stopped she called out: "What 
news, Brother ? Did you find her ? ' ' 

"Yes, yes, we heard from her," answered Mr. 
Dodge, without giving Howard a chance. "In a 
hospital all right, in Atlanta, and sick — awfully 
sick, I believe. Telegraph dispatch said nerves 
broken down, but she is dying of biliousness, 
probably." He stopped his horse close to the 
steps and seemed on the verge of nervous col- 
lapse, as he cried: "What shall I do, my good 
friend and neighbor? You've advised me so 
many times, and so well ! She will die if she is 
left there without some special attention." 

"Somebody must go after her, and Mary Lou 
is the person — ' ' 



152 In the Wake of War 

"Yes, yes, Miss Mary Loii is just the good 
Samaritan for that deed," he cut in, before 
Colonel Grayson had got well started. "They 
have been such friends; yes, Miss Mary Lou will 
cheer her up and bring her home pretty quick. 
When will you go ? " 

" Of course she can not go unattended," said 
Colonel Grayson. "Aunt Manda would be of 
service and some protection, but a man must go 
— I must go. I have not taken the oath of 
allegiance, but I will waive all scruples and 
qualify for the journey." 

" Oh, thanks, a thousand thanks, my old friend 
and neighbor. I am right at home again. No 
other place in this world has such true women, 
such noble men. It 's worth more 'n business, 
after all's said and done. I can't go, can't leave 
my horses. The Yankees would carry them off, 
or the negroes hamstring them the first night. 
It 's awfully good of you to go ! The deed was n't 
on record; in fact there are no records. Yankee 
soldiers spread all the papers and court files on 
the fioors of the court-house to make beds, and 
now all our public documents and legal documents 
are in a pile. We saw a negro lighting his pipe 
with a strip torn off somebody's will. It 's going 
to be up-hill work, doing business in this chaos. 
What do you suppose it will cost to bring Mar- 
garet home? " 

Mary Lou turned and walked away to hide her 
disgust. Colonel Grayson, who never failed to 
excuse a fault in others, answered calmly: "I 
reckon one hundred dollars will cover the ex- 



The Glorious Climate of Canada 153 

penses, unless we should be detained in Atlanta 
longer than I anticipate." 

"Better take two hundred; don't want you to 
be pinched for ready money. I want Margaret 
home. She'll get well here in no time. Some 
fathers would be mad at a daughter that played 
such a trick, but I 'm not ! No, siree, I 'm proud 
of her ! She 's got all of her father's spunk, and 
is as gentle and sweet as her mother was. I'll 
give you gold, Colonel Grayson, and you best get 
the rates of premium as you go through Nashville. 
Look out for the rates of premium, or they will 
cheat you. But no, we are not up North, are we ? 
I clear forgot. Will you start in the morning? 
Yes, that's good, too." 



XIV 

The Sight of a Boom Town 

THE next morning Mary Lou brought down 
from its hiding in the store-room, her summer 
hat of the mode of 1861. The decorations that 
formed the greater part of that mysterious article 
of apparel and ornament, bore evidences of age in 
unconquerable lines and wrinkles. But what it 
lacked in freshness and newness of material, was 
more than met incorrectness of pattern; for Dame 
Fashion with her iron hand had not invaded the 
South these four long years, and there were no 
recent dictates on size and conformity. For once 
in the history of the world the possession of finery 
fixed a style, imperious and final, against which 
the votaries of Mammon could not prevail. Each 
woman pressed, smoothed, curled, and reshaped 
as most suited her taste, the material she had in 
use or in store when the blockade began. And 
thus was developed an individuality — not the in- 
dividuality of a milliner in Paris, before whose 
whim the ornamental headgear of the feminine 
world towers aloft or spreads out — but of mil- 
lions of women, who, each for herself, did with 
her own what seemed best and most appropriate. 
The conditions that made this possible, or neces- 
sary, were deplorable; but the results, to every 
observer of the servility of woman to designing 
vogue, were most encouraging. And herein lay 
true heroism, for it is claimed by all cynics and 

154 



The Sight of a Boom Town 155 

some philosophers, that it comes easier and more 
natural for the feminine mind to circumvent the 
commands of Jehovah than to defy the decrees of 
Fashion. 

If specific proof of these observations were 
needed, it could be had in the case of Miss Mary 
Lou Grayson ; for either the simple hat of her own 
arrangement, or the excitement of preparation for 
her trip, had wrought such a transformation in 
her appearance, that, as she came down from the 
house to take her seat beside Colonel Grayson in 
Mr. Dodge's carriage, there was a general excla- 
mation of delight at the vision of beauty she 
presented. 

" Oh, Little Sister, how sweet you look! " cried 
Howard, as he took her in his arms and implanted 
a kiss on the roses in each cheek. "Again you 
are like my little sister of the old days.'* And he 
whispered something in her ear, evidently a mes- 
sage to Margaret, for he blushed crimson. 

" Yes, yes, only don't muss me up, or I shall 
have to keep father waiting till I go back and 
prink again," she answered, with feminine solici- 
tude. 

" Ah, she will charm Margaret back to health. 
When I was up North for my health, I saw no 
such beauties; no, siree, they don't compare ! " 
said Mr. Dodge, as he offered his hand, with a 
flourish of awkward gallantry, to help her into the 
carriage. 

And this was no idle flattery, for she was in- 
deed a beautiful creature. Enough above the 
average height in woman to be called tall, wil- 
lowy enough in form to fix the attention of the 



156 In the Wake of War 



least sentimental observer, there was yet an inde- 
scribable quality that more attracted. It was a 
sort of delicate, unstudied independence, a free 
spirit, that prompted her, while out of doors at 
home, to carry a sunbonnet in her hand, and wear 
a flower in her hair; or to let her long blonde 
tresses flow to the wind and sun, regardless of 
tangling and bleaching. But her face was not 
quite of classic mold. The forehead was too high 
and broad and intellectual; the great blue eyes 
were too alert for the proper expression of lan- 
guor. Yet every line and feature stood unmistak- 
ably for refinement of nature and daintiness of 
sentiment; every glance of the eye, or change in 
the mobile countenance, bespoke intelligent pur- 
pose and strength of character. The man who 
looked at her must have said, "Beautiful!" If 
he looked, and considered a moment, he said, 
" Beautiful and strong ! " 

This was the first appearance of Colonel Gray- 
son and daughter in a wheeled vehicle since the 
soldiers had infested Elmington, and burned the 
barns and their contents. It was a beautiful 
morning in that land of beautiful days and glori- 
ous nights. The withering drought was yet new 
and had made few inroads upon nature, which 
was, in her own peaceful way, still struggling to 
repair the ravages of war. The dry, red sun 
shone with threatening splendor, and shaded the 
blue dome of the heavens with a cool gray color- 
ing. It was not a time of growth — vigorous, 
hearty, spontaneous growth. There was in the 
summer air that peculiar fragrance of premature 
ripening, as if the course of the season had been 



The Sight of a Boom Town 157 

interriipted, or as if harvest had been }3recipi 
tated before its time. This strange sensation of 
distemper pervading their little patch of universe 
seemed but a continuation of the strife of war, 
only the action was shifted from man to the ele- 
ments. Intangible though it was, it comported 
well with the torn fields, the gullied hill-sides, the 
wrecked buildings and fences; in fact, with the 
permeating and inexorable presence of destruc- 
tion. 

And jet there was peace in the air. The songs 
of the thrush and the oriole were echoed back by 
the robin and the lark. The bee hummed by on 
his industrious mission, and the countless voices of 
animate nature bespoke no conflict. The Opal 
flowed down the valley in easy, sweeping curves, 
and when the course of the turnpike approached 
its side, its babbling voice contained no threat. 
The encircling hills, fringed with green that fol- 
lowed and softened their jagged outlines, seemed 
to shut out the wrangling, rebellious world, or 
rather, to include and shelter this quiet little world 
within their protecting embrace. 

These conflicting sentiments of nature touched 
the responsive character of Mary Lou, and for a 
time she rode in silence, almost unconscious of 
the conversation of her foster-father. At last, as 
they passed a field in which fortifications had been 
raised and the turf all torn up, he aroused her 
from her reverie. 

"How conciliatory is old Nature! Man cuts 
and destroys and ravishes, but she mends and 
puts forth anew, seeming to defy his labor to 
deface. Only neglect can stir her to resentment, 



158 In the Wake of War 

and I sometimes think that in this valley she 
would smile through blue-grass and flowers at his 
indolence and negligence." 

' ' I was studying when you spoke, on the won- 
derful beauty with which I have been surrounded 
ever since I can remember. We do not ap- 
preciate, until we get into the bleak gray of the 
mountains or the flat, inanimate prairies, what 
lively beauties in line and color embower us. 
Sure we can say with the poet, ' Only man is vile,' 
and in this community the vile man is of recent 
creation. Do you think, Father, we shall be 
molested again by those dreadful officers at 
Kosciusko ? " 

"I hope not, my dear, although their villainy 
seems to know no bounds. They seemed deter- 
mined to drive us to resentment. I am getting to 
agree with Major Lewis that this persecution has 
a purpose: to create a disturbance that they may 
have something to report to the Federal authori- 
ties. If everything here is quiet, their occupations 
are gone, and they will be sent home to work for 
a living. But after I take the oath of allegiance 
perhaps we shall be in better standing. We shall 
hope so at least." 

" I was thinking how unfortunate it would be 
if we were disturbed after Margaret is brought 
home, especially if she is in bad health. I am so 
troubled about her ! I ought to have spoken of 
her condition before, but she bound me to perfect 
silence. Why, I don't know, but for some rea- 
son on account of brother, I reckon. She sent 
me a sealed packet in her last letter that was to 
be given to Howard, in case she never lived to 



The Sight of a Boom Town 159 

return. She did not seem to think she was going 
to die, bnt was anxious to provide for the worst. 
And in case she recovered, she wanted him never 
to know of the packet or its contents. So, there, 
I have told all my secret without intending to tell 
anything." 

" But that is not serious, "answered the Colonel. 
"I am placing great store on the safe return of 
Margaret, for then our immediate circle is again 
complete. We have worlds to be thankful for. 
Our property losses are heavy, our sufferings from 
privations have been keen, and the humiliations 
and insults often intolerable, but oui- families are 
unbroken. In this we can give thanks beyond 
any other like community in the South, I 
reckon." 

"That is true, Father; but we never are quite 
satisfied. There always is something to be wished 
for that absorbs our thoughts almost to the exclu- 
sion of gratitude. Now, it is the fear that this 
change in the affairs of the South will change our 

customs. 1 know little of the North I have 

known very few Yankees — but those whom I 
have seen are so much like Mr. Dodge has been 
since he returned. Why, he really seemed more 
solicitous about that paltry deed than he did about 
Margaret's health, or life even. Shall we ever 
fall to that level, do you think ? " asked Mary Lou, 
with genuine anxiety. 

In fact that was the question of the hour tor the 

educated portion of a great people, inhabiting the 

stretch of country lying south of the Ohio River. 

"That is the problem that time and the course 

of events will have to settle. I can not proph- 



160 In the Wake of War 

esy what the end will be. There has been a 
marvelous change in our material condition, and 
historians always have laid great stress on the fact 
that material surroundings affect a people's civili- 
zation. If we are able to withstand the encroach- 
ments of greed, we shall demonstrate that we have 
what we have so long claimed: the highest and 
most genuine civilization the world ever has seen. 
But if we fall into the commercial spirit of the 
North, it will show that our civilization depended 
on the questionable institution of human slavery. 
For one, I believe in the honesty and sincerity of 
our social fabric, and that we shall continue, as 
we have been, the social and intellectual leaders 
of this great country." 

"I hope so, Father!" answered Mary Lou. 
"It seems like everybody here is talking about 
this matter, and that there is a great variety of 
opinion." 

They had reached town, and Colonel Grayson 
drove straight to the office of the Provost-Marshal 
to take the oath of allegiance. This dignitary, 
Christopher Samson, by name, had not been satis- 
fied with quarters in one of the many vacant store 
buildings in Kosciusko, but had gone to the very 
outskirts of the city and had forcibly entered and 
taken possession of the finest place in that section 
of Tennessee, temporarily vacant. 

The Bosworth house had been for many years 
the richest in Williams County. Built and fur- 
nished with a degree of cost and extravagance 
beyond any other home in the vicinity, its osten- 
tation had made for Mr. Bosworth the title of the 
"Tennessee Yankee." But now every male 



The Sight of a Boom Town 161 

member of the family was dead, and the mother 
and daughter, on their return from the far South, 
found their house occupied by the Provost-Mar- 
shal and his gang, their furniture and ornaments, 
sacred as adjuncts of a once happy homo, profaned 
by ill use, and themselves denied the right of 
entrauce. Every entreaty and demand for posses- 
sion was met with boorish assertion of authority, 
and they became in consequence dependent on the 
hospitality of old neighbors, while they waged 
unequal contest for their own. It was little won- 
der that they asked of the great man, and of 
themselves, over and over again: "What have we 
done that these remaining ties to a happiness that 
can be only a memory, should be denied us ? " 

But the man of the strong name only answered: 
"It suits me to stay here, and the Government 
needs the house." And there the matter rested. 

When Colonel Grayson drove up to the great 
house, there was no sign of life within. Doors 
were closed and curtains were drawn, to all appear- 
ances as the surviving Bosworths had left them 
when they carried their grief to the gulf shore, a 
year before. Even the patrol from the neighbor- 
ing camp, that had stood watch and ward by day 
and night over this precious officer of the Federal 
Government, had been withdrawn, for no sentry 
challenged their entrance. But the Colonel was 
there for a purpose, and knew full well that it was 
already past hours for the opening of ordinary 
business, so he got down from the carriage and 
gave the great brass knocker a fevv^ lusty whacks. 
A negro porter opened the door, after peeping 
from behind curtains and undoing some heavy 



162 In the Wake of war 



bars, placed there by the present occupant. He 
proved to be no other than James, a yellow- 
skinned negro who had been a refractory slave 
at Elmmgton, and who had led his brethren in a 
body, except Uncle Phil and Aunt Manda, out of 
captivity the first dark night after the Freedmen's 
Bureau began giving free rations at Kosciusko. 

" Mawnin', Marster; mawnin', Miss Mary Lou," 
he said, forgetting his independence and new- 
taught equality, and dropping unconsciously into 
the servility of a slave. 

' ' Good-morning, Jamos ! Where is the Provost- 
Marshal this morning? " asked Colonel Grayson, 

" De Gunnel not outn baid yit, Marster. He 
doan git up no how 'till 'bout dis time de day," 
said James, looking up at the sun, for with all his 
new learning he had not been taught to use the 
clock. "An' dis mawnin' I reckons hit '11 be 
later, case he hed a party las' night dat hild tol'a- 
blelate. " And with perceptible pride the Afri- 
can told how, on the previous night, the Provost- 
Marshal had given an orgie in honor of Captain 
Brewster, until to-day in command of the com- 
pany of Federal soldiers that had been stationed 
there for some months. ' ' Dey sutnly mus' hev 
drunk a power of liquor, fo' yo' nerr seen sech 
a muss. Em-ra, de ca'pets an' cu'tains an' fur- 
nitur', all ruin'; but dey doan keer fo' dat, de 
Gov'ment furnish de money. Dey mus' been 
monst'ous seek. All de gemnien of de Bureau, 
Cap'n Jonas Smiff, an' all de big men wus hyear, 
'cept Cap'n Av'ry, he doan come.*' 

"Who is Captain Avery, James?" asked 
Colonel Grayson, with some surprise. 



The Sight of a Boom Town 163 

" Our Cap'n Av'rj, Marster. He come to take 
Cap'n Brewster place," said James, in a rather 
loud tone, proud that he could impart knowledge 
to his late owner. 

" Is tliat jou talking down there, Jim ? " asked 
a thick, heavy voice from a room up stairs. 

"I reckons hit war," answered James, in a 
much subdued tone. 

"Well, shut your damned mouth and go about 
your business, or I '11 come down there and break 
every bone in your accursed carcass. If you don't 
know better than to disturb me when I 'm asleep, 
I'll learn you. Now shut up!" 

" Dat 's him," whispered James. 

"But it is important that I see him," said 
Colonel Grayson. "I am here on business per- 
taining to his office, and must attend to it before 
noon." 

" Did n't I tell you to shut your black mouth ? " 
came the thick, inebriated voice from behind the 
curtains. 

"A gemmen wan' to see yo' on business, he 
say," said James, in most humble manner. 

"Tell him to come back in two hours, and then 
keep still, you damned fool, nigger," answered 
the beastly voice from above. 

Colonel Grayson took his seat in the carriage 
and drove out of the yard, lest Mary Lou should 
be obliged to listen to more offensive conversa- 
tion, for the voice foreboded any possible de- 
pravity. 

' ' Let 's drive down to where the negroes are 
living, if you are willing, Father. I should like 
to see some of our old slaves." 



164 In the Wake of War 

At the time this history is laid there was not in 
Kosciusko, nor in any other city of the South, that 
peculiar subdivision subject to overflow in the 
spring and to chills and fever the rest of the year, 
now known as the " Negro Quarter." There were 
few cabins or houses in which the negroes could 
live, as only a small proportion of townspeople 
had been able to own and keep slaves. To the 
time of his liberation the African was a country- 
man, a child and lovor of nature. He took on 
the city habit with other virtues in the job-lot of 
free and enlightened citizenship. There were not 
in the city of Kosciusko suitable accommodations 
for more than two hundred negroes, and these, by 
reason of the progenitive wealth of the colored 
race, were always filled to overflowing. 

But this condition had no terrors. For when 
Liberty — her pockets bulging with Government 
rations — stretched forth her jewelled hand and 
beckoned them to a life of indolence, they an- 
swered the call without a thought of where they 
should lay their heads. They came by hundreds, 
for the most part without the .providence to bring 
such household appliances as their cabins on the 
plantations contained. Here was food from Uncle 
Sam's abundant storehouse, free for the asking, 
and no work! 

What more could they want ? 

To eat, and not to work, had been the dream 
of the unfortunate race. 

But they were equal to the crisis. Every rod of 
fence made the side wall of a house, perhaps the 
only wall it had; and poles, covered with brush 
or old army blankets, made the roof. Here they 



The Sight of a Boom Town 165 

slept, when not loafing or attending secret meet- 
ings for instruction in citizenship, with all the 
unconcern of the happy race they are. These 
rude quarters were mostly in alleys, because of 
the high fences that were so essential to their 
architecture and construction, and fully two thou- 
sand persons occupied them. 

To this improvised town Colonel Grayson drove, 
after learning the business methods of the Provost- 
Marshal. He enquired for some of his old slaves, 
and a dozen loungers volunteered to show the 
way, but it was up the alley, and he could not 
drive there. He helped Mary Lou from the car- 
riage, and was on the point of leaving the team 
in charge of some of the negroes, but she said : 
"No, Father, I can go alone; it is only a step. 
I will keep you but a few moments." 

The dozen that had offered to show the way 
were augmented when she set forth by as many 
more, until she led a real cavalcade up the wind- 
ing foot-path. At the first turn in the path she 
met face to face. Captain Avery. 

The surprise of the meeting was mutual, and 
neither had time to conceal emotions; but the 
feminine mind rallies quickest from surprise or 
predicament, and she said: "Good-morning, 
Captain Avery," in the most commonplace man- 
ner imaginable. 

" Good-morning, Miss Grayson, this is a pleas- 
ant surprise to me. How have you been since I 
saw you last?" And he stood in the path, 
barring the way. 

"Thank you, very well, sir. There has been 
plenty of color in life, but it has been about as it 



166 In the Wake of War 

was when you were encamped at Elmiugton — no 
material change, only a little variety of shading." 

" You seem to be going through this labyrinth 
of huts unattended; may I be your escort?" he 
asked, stepping to one side to allow her to pass. 

"It is unnecessary, thank you, for I am entirely 
at home with these poor people. Besides, these 
scenes might suggest to you, that, as an officer in 
the Federal army, you may have had something to 
do with bringing about the terrible conditions that 
prevail in this alley. I should not love to witness 
an awakening of your conscience. I will save an 
argument by admitting that you have one," she 
answered, and there was a tinge of sarcasm in her 
voice and manner. 

"A challenge almost before you say good- 
morning ! Now unless you point-blank forbid, I 
shall act as your military escort. Shall you never 
forgive me for being a Yankee, and a member of 
the Federal army ? " 

" I think it easier to pray for those who perse- 
cute us, than even to tolerate om* enemies. But if 
you think a military escort will add dignity to my 
already cumbersome train, I will accept the service 
with becoming consideration." And Mary Lou 
started on up the alley, the Captain and darkies 
following. "lam looking for some of our old 
slaves," she continued, "and I have been told 
that they are some place near the heart of this 
model Yankee city." 

" Had you any better neighbors after our com- 
mand left Elmington ? " he asked, willing to 
change the subject. 

" Oh, no, ' better ' is not the word — ' worse ' 



The Sight of a Boom Town 167 

is wliat you mean to ask. None are better; you 
are all bad, but some are worse than others, and 
toward the end you were bad beyond expression. 
We suffered enough, although I will admit that 
some of the officers made honest efforts to reduce 
the volume of our woe," she said, half banteringly. 

" Yery kind of you, I am sure, but no more 
than I expected you to feel, whether you would 
admit it or not. Have you been annoyed of 
late ? " he enquired, with a view of continuing 
the conversation in his own direction. 

"Not right lately, by Federal soldiers. The 
County Guards have not so entirely ignored us as 
we would like them to do." 

' ' I am detailed now to command the troops at 
this point, and I shall hope, by putting a little 
heart into the business, to give it a different face. 
That is the plan of General Thomas," said the 
Captain, 

"Father has great confidence in the justice of 
General Thomas, although we did not feel quite 
right when he deserted his State for the Federals. 
But that was four years ago. I hope. Captain 
Avery, you will find your new occupation a pleas- 
ant one." 

Avery's answer never will be made, for he was 
cut clean out of the conversation by a tall, lean 
negro woman, who stood in the alley a short dis- 
tance ahead of them, with arms akimbo, scolding 
a parcel of young ones that seemed to have raised 
her easy wrath. In the heat of her tirade she 
chanced to look up from the business in hand and 
caught sight of Mary Lou. 

"Fo' de love of Gawd, honey, what yo' come 



168 In thf Wake of War 



to dis mis'able place fo' ? " And her tone and 
manner had undergone a change as complete as it 
was sudden. "Dis no place fo' a leddj likes yo', 
honey; but I 's mighty proud to seeyo'. I knowed 
yo' nerr fo'git yo' Aunt Harr'et. I done tole 
Rufus 80, I did. I wants to come back to Mars 
Kodeny, I does, indeed, but Rufus won' ; he got 
shet of wuck, an' dat 's all he wan'. How is 
yo'-all ? Mars Howard home? Mars Rodeny 
well? I 's mighty proud to see yo'!" And the 
tears streamed down her black face. 

Mary Lou gave her all the information asked 
for, spoke kindly to the children, and showed 
such genuine interest in them all that the poor 
negro woman broke into sobs. 

"I nerr wanted to leave, Rufus wen" plumb 
'stracted 'bout lib'ty, an dis is hit, I reckon," she 
said between sobs, with a wave of her hand up 
and down the alley. ' ' Please caint we come back, 
Miss Mary Lou? I be de bes' nigger yo' err seen. 
But Rufus won' come. He president de League, 
an' 'lows he goan to Congris, or somewhar." 

"But don't the children go to school. Aunt 
Harriet ? They ought to be learning all they can 
now," said Mary Lou. 

" Naw, Miss, I doan wan' dem go to school. 
Day doan wan' no eddycation. Dey wan' some 
one to beat 'em an' learn 'em to wuck, dat 's what 
dey wan'. 'Sides I doan wan' 'em go to school 
to no Yankee school-marm — dem nigger ekality 
folks. My chil'ens learn to read from a leddy, 
thet's yo'self, honey. Leastwise, dat's what I 
tole one of dem Yankee teachers dat wan' little 
Epham to come to school." 



The Sight of a Boom Town 169 

The interview lasted some minutes, and throu^^h 
it all the militarj escort stood with head un- 
covered, and mouth as wide agape as any of the 
score of nesfro lounorers. He knew from his four 
years' observation in the South that the only true 
sympathy and interest the black man could claim 
lay in the heart of the native white man and 
woman of that Section, Yet every demonstration 
like the one he was witnessing only showed to him 
how impossible it was for men of his breeding to 
comprehend it. What he now saw was a sponta- 
neous outburst of inborn affection and not a show 
— there was nothing theatrical or studied about it. 
But he never had experienced like emotions, and 
while he could not understand them, he was com- 
pelled again to acknowledge their existence and 
sincerity. 

"How different," he asked himself, "is this 
interest from that exercised by people of the 
North, who perhaps never have known in all their 
lives half a dozen negroes, and who never have 
known the relation of Master and Man ? What 
do they know about the matter of slavery, beyond 
the bare, cold fact that a white man owned a black 
man ? What do they care ? What interest have 
they in the negro anyway, more than an abstract 
interest ? And an abstract interest is little better 
than contempt. The more I see, the more I be- 
lieve that ownership is but an incident, almost an 
accident. These people love and understand each 
other. Perhaps this whole business of Liberty is 
a mistake — in the light of this miserable alley it 
surely is. One thing is certain," he continued to 
himself, "all talk of separating the negro from 



170 In the Wake of War 



his late master is worse than folly; it would be 
criminal. That the negro will return to his old 
quarters, after we get through with this cheap 
show of charity, is inevitable, and it is right." 

But Captain Avery was a soldier by education 
and profession, and never had thought of looking 
into the political designs that might require the 
slaughter of half the white men of the South. 
The necessities of the politicians were not then 
manifest, but whatever should develop, those de- 
signing and directing affairs were ready to order 
the adequate sacrifice. Just now it was the 
humiliation of the whites, and the stilting of the 
blacks; and being on\y a soldier he had not seen 
that he was expected to play his part, innocently, 
perhaps, in this game of politics. 

After Mary Lou had taken from her scant store 
a few pieces of small change to cheer the old 
slave, she turned to go away, and her escorts, 
both military and engineering, fell into line with- 
out orders or comment. Her mood was, as she 
chose to make it, reflective. Captain Avery was 
still wrestling with the inexplicable problem of 
sentiment, so that the procession moved in silence, 
except that Mary Lou had a word of sympathy for 
every negro woman she met on the way. At last 
he broke out: "Can you explain to me the won- 
derful bond of affection and confidence existing 
between you and that ignorant negro woman ? I 
would give much to know how such a thing is pos- 
sible. I never had it for one whom I thought so 
palpably my social and intellectual inferior, but in 
this case there is the added inferiority of race and 
the inborn dislike of color. What is it? " 



The Sight of a Boom Town 171 

"That comes because jour heart is not right. 
We are told that figs do not grow on thorn bushes. 
Had you ever thought to study the subject by 
parable? But seriously, I can not explain it, al- 
though I am proud of its influence. I would make 
almost any sacrifice for any one of our old slaves, 
even now. They deserted us indecently, but they 
are not to blame for that. It was the work of 
Yankees; the fij-st step toward what you call a 
higher civilization." 

"But I can not command any confidence with 
the creatures. They seem to look upon me with 
suspicion," he said, with self-deprecatory frank- 
ness. 

' ' Oh, that comes because you seek confidence 
without deserving it," she answered, tantaliz- 
ingly. " You don't know them. Aunt Harriet 
has scolded me as roundly as she was scolding 
those children, more times than I can guess, yet 
I love her." 

"That adds to my perplexity. Won't you 
give me further instruction in the matter ? May 
I come out to Elmington for a lesson ? " he 
asked, glad of an excuse. 

" Elmington is always open to guests; but you 
are a hopeless pupil. You will have to expe- 
rience a change of heart, I am certain, before it 
would be worth while to give any time to instruc- 
tion." 

"Ah, there is your father! Good-morning, 
Colonel Grayson! I hope you are well, sir." 

"Very well, thank you, sir," answered Colo- 
nel Grayson, with his usual deliberation of 
speech. "There are few of our enemies whom 



172 In the Wake of War 

I ever expected to take pleasure in seeing again, 
Captain Avery, but you are one of those who left 
a pleasant impression after you had gone. In 
fact, sir, if you will pardon my frankness, we 
appreciated you best after you had gone, by com- 
paring you with your successors. I am heartily 
glad to meet you again, sir! " 

"Thank you, Colonel Grayson. I am glad 
you were generous enough to overlook little 
irregularities, and to mark the line between neces- 
sity and persecution." 

"I have been a soldier, and I think I know 
what belongs to an honest discharge of duty. 
Have you invited Captain Avery to call at 
Elmington, Daughter?" 

"He said he was coming." 

"The same in effect, Captain Avery. We 
shall be glad to see you, sir, at your convenience 
or pleasure." And they drove away. 

After a call on Anton Nelson, Colonel Gray- 
son returned to the ofHce of the Provost-Marshal 
and took the formidable oath of allegiance, which 
Captain Samson administered" with much whole- 
some advice. Samson was of that class of per- 
sons who can not recognize the difference between 
character and meat. It has not yet occurred to 
him, if he is still living, that he was lecturing 
a soul so lofty, that he could not, in his high- 
est flight of sentiment, reach it at its lowest 
depression. 



XV 

"Forty Acres and a Mule" 

THAT very night after Colonel Grayson had 
gone, Pleas slipped off as soon as it was dark 
and made for Kosciusko by a near cut through the 
fields. His determination to become a member 
of the League was put to early execution, and he 
wavered no more in the act than he had done in 
the plan. It was an easy matter for a negro of 
Pleas's standing to gain entrance in one night 
into all the mysteries of this benevolent and 
patriotic order. Numbers were sought, and the 
strength of membership was entirely a matter of 
enrollment. It could not be otherwise, for intelli- 
gence was avoided. 

In most places there was a meeting once a week, 
but as Kosciusko was headquarters of the Freed- 
men's Bureau for that section, and large numbers 
of negroes were flocking to its paternal banner, 
the League was kept tolerably active to enroll and 
instruct the candidates. So scarce a night passed, 
except of a Sunday, without a round quorum in 
attendance and the routine of initiation and in- 
struction being worked in all its pompous glory. 

It must have been a strange sight, this assem- 
blage of maybe a hundred black men, not half a 
dozen of whom could read a lesson in Mc Guffey's 
"First Reader," attempting to go through the 
stilted verbiage of a secret society's ritual. Yet 
such was the wisdom that directed the first steps of 

173 



174 In the Wake of War 

the deluded negro toward the devious paths of citi- 
zenship. But it served a purpose. It kept him 
out of other mischief at a time when malicious 
mischief w^as encouraged by his instructors. The 
mysteries suited the superstitious nature of the 
African, and the less he understood, the greater 
the mystery and the stronger the fascination. If 
it was honestly intended to stimulate in him a 
spirit of independence toward his old master, and 
failed, it did the next best thing: it created a 
spirit of vengeance, and this could be turned to 
political use, which was really the end sought. 

Pleas arrived early at the school-house, and 
had no trouble to secure the endorsement of 
negroes, already members, to his application. 
Inside of an hour he had been conducted from 
station to station, had taken oaths of fearful but 
unknown import, and was seated on a bench, a 
full-fledged Leaguer, listening to an edifying 
harangue on the then absorbing topic: "Forty 
Acres and a Mule." The orator was a white man 
who had been with the army of Thomas, and he 
made frequent allusion to the ^' dear old flag" that 
he had followed so faithfully, and forgot not to 
tell his hearers how, when he struck, the shackles 
fell from four million pairs of wrists. A soldier, 
did you ask ? Oh, no, a sutler ! The men who 
struck blows on the front line were then quietly at 
home, or sleeping in unmarked graves! 

But such had been the genesis of the League. 
It was organized and manned from the first by 
stay-at-homes, who loved the flag and who hoped 
to keep it floating over their places of business, 
while they filled government contracts in the rear 



"Forty Acres and a Mule" 175 

and sent proxies to the front. It had served a 
political purpose, perhaps a good one. It had 
solidified the support of Mr. Lincoln, aiding in 
his re-election. This meant the prosecution of 
the war and the awarding of more government 
contracts. The second clause of the proposition 
created much patriotism in the order. Then, too, 
it had suppressed an impotent uprising or two of 
unorganized "Copperheads," but it never had 
spread with popularity amongst those who had 
courage to don a uniform. The soldier wants no 
bolted doors, no dim candle-light, no whispered 
oaths, no grips and knocks. An open field and a 
fair fight better suit the stuff of which he is made. 
So the order lost no dignity in being trans- 
planted into the sterile soil of total ignorance; 
and, being wholly mouthy and flatulent from 
inception, it had nothing substantial to impart. 
And more was the pity! For it spread until it 
had compassed the freedman. It promised him 
impossible and useless things, simply to hold his 
attention temporarily, and when he awoke he saw 
with his practical, unschooled wisdom, that this 
chanting, canting sophistry had done him no 
good, but had tended to widen the gulf between 
him and his natural and logical friend and sup- 
porter, the native white man of the South. If 
the thing had ever had within it the spirit of self- 
denial and patriotism, results might have been 
different; but it was conceived in greed and nur- 
tured in selfishness, and while the original pur- 
pose of such a movement may deteriorate, it 
never can rise above the principle from which it 
springs. 



176 In the Wake of War 

Tho performauce to which Pleas was treated, 
after the inexplicable ceremony of initiation had 
been blunderingly rehearsed, consisted of speeches 
interspersed with music and a sort of general 
catechism on political dogma. The orator of the 
evening had made a cheap hit by showing the 
freedmen how easy it was for them to get what 
they had been taught to think they needed, and 
were qualified to receive — a small farm and a mule 
with which to work it. " You, gentlemen, know 
how to work," he said, addressing the black men 
of his audience. " You have been brought up to 
work for other men, or take a flogging. Now 
you shall work for yourselves when you work at 
all, and when you don't feel like it, just turn the 
old mule out to bait and take a nap under your 
own spreading oak tree. No brutal overseer will 
then come along with a cat-o'-nine-tails and beat 
you. When will we get the land, did I hear 
some of you ask ? The dear old flag that struck 
the shackles from your wrists will provide that 
in good time. Trust the flag. These old aris- 
tocrats owning this beautiful valley don't need 
all of their land. They are broke, dead broke. 
They have no slaves, thank God! They can't 
work it by themselves, they are too lazy. It will 
be ours, for we conquered them. We shall have 
an order from Congress to parcel out these lands 
to you, gentlemen. Just wait a few days for the 
orders. You can trust us, gentlemen, for we 
gave you liberty. Wait patiently for the order, 
and when it comes, strike for a home. We are 
your friends; those who worked and flogged 
you for nothing are your eternal enemies." 



"Forty Acres and a Mule" 177 

And he rambled on with this sentiment for an 
hour, evidently knowing the negro's weakness for 
repetitions and measured cadence of speech; until, 
as he lashed himself into physical excitement and 
became violent with gesticulation, some of the 
more inflammable natures responded to his elo- 
quence with shuffling of brogaus and shouts of 
approval: "Come down, Mars Ab'am!" "I wants 
a clay-bank mule, Mars Liuckum! " and the like. 
Encouraged, he turned into his well prepared and 
rehearsed peroration. It was a masterly produc- 
tion for such an audience. He had proved its efii- 
cacy on many similar occasions. As he proceeded, 
the place became the real Pandemonium. Nearly 
all were shouting, or screaming, or groaning. 
Several had the power and swung their senseless 
heads from side to side, emitting the most diabol- 
ical yells; others rolled and tumbled, ridiculous 
masses on the floor. And over and above this 
asinine bedlam rang out the husky voice of the 
priest and prophet of the sutler's camp — the tri- 
umphant orator of the evening. 

When, at last, his pond had run dry, and most 
of the negroes had hushed themselves to quiet, 
they filed past him and each shook his hand and 
warmly congratulated him on his effort. "Hit 
war a blessed season." "Come to 'tracted meetin' 
nex' month, Brudder Jimson," and other like 
words of encouragement were mixed with their 
congratulations. And a Northern gentleman in 
the room, who had been sent South to study tlie 
negro question, but who had never seen a negro 
revival, looked on all this and wrote back: "Tire 
black man is awfully in earnest about preserving 

12 



178 In the Wake of War 



his liberty. If you had been with me to-night, 
and had seen the ahnost wild enthusiasm with 
which he received every allusion to the dear old 
flag, you would agree with me that to his crude, 
but sincere patriotism, must be entrusted the des- 
tinies of these Southern States. I know that there 
are some who maintain that political power with- 
out intelligence is a dangerous thing, but that 
theory, with States' Rights, is a relic of barbarism. 
Of course, to elevate the negro to a place, either 
alongside of or over the white man of the South, 
will be a terrific humiliation to the latter; but 
he has been too proud, too sensitive, too jealous 
of his institutions and civilization. It will be 
only the fulfillment of the Scriptures: ' For whoso 
exalteth himself shall be abased,' and so long as 
we fulfill a holy prophecy I am content with the 
work. These meetings are very annoying to the 
whites. They pretend to think that we teach 
crime. We teach no lawlessness, unless it be 
lawless to defend one's self and furnish one with 
the implements of self-defense. We must not 
leave these poor creatures without means of self- 
protection. They may use them indiscreetly, but 
we must take some chances, and the chances 
ought to favor the freedmen." 

When order was again restored, the exercises 
took on the form of an "experience meeting," 
during which several negroes, nearly all preach- 
ers, bore a part. Grievances were recounted 
with a lively and natural flow of fancy, and pas- 
sions were not allowed to slumber. If a member 
had suffered the indignity of being called "nig- 
ger " by some inconsiderate white man, it made 



"Forty Acres and a Mule" 179 

the foundation and fabric of fervid oratory. Dig- 
nity and self-esteem were much more highly 
extolled than decency and worth. 

The songs that were interspersed as a sort of 
balm on these wounds, were mostly of a patriotic 
order, like: "Rally 'round the Flag," "King- 
dom am Comin','' and " Yankee Doodle." Then 
came the catechism, the president of the evening- 
asking set questions, which were answered infor- 
mally by all who could think quickly enough. 
They ran about like this: — 

President: "Who is the enemy of the colored 
gentleman? " 

" De slave owner!" answered several. One 
lusty yellow negro sitting in a far corner shouted, 
" De Debbie," as a sort of after-thought, and 
another allowed that it was "Evil sperets." 

" 'The late slave owner,' is the right answer," 
said the president. 

"De Sun'ay School teacher say de Debbie," 
persisted the man in the corner. 

President: "Who liberated the colored man 
from the barbarity of slavery?" 

"Mars Ab'am Linckum, " cried several in 
unison! " De 'publican party," said others, and 
the Sunday School member, evidently becoming 
confused over the word ' ' barbarity, " and anxious 
to show his knowledge, shouted " Barabbas." 

' ' ' The Republican party, ' is the correct an- 
swer," said the wise man. 

President: " What do we demand for the col- 
ored man ? " 

" Fo'ty acres an' a mule! " came in a deafen- 
ing shout. 



180 In the Wake of War 



" 'Equal rights with his white brothers,' is the 
proper answer," said Wisdom. 

Half a dozen demanded: "What's dat ? " 
while the man of Sunday School lore cut in: 
' ' My brudders is all black. " 

President: "Who is your master?" 

"Mars Linckum," was the general reply, re- 
gardless of the fact that President Lincoln had 
been dead two months; but a voice, sepulchral 
with reverence, gave out from the corner, 
"Gawd." 

And Wisdom again reproved Righteousness: 
"You have no master! Each of you is his own 
master! " 

And this was continued for half an hour, the 
questions equally silly, the answers dogmatic and 
pathetic in ridiculousness. If the black men had 
been honestly and sensibly instructed, what good 
might have resulted! 

While this was in progress, the speaker of the 
evening became a-hungered for new honors, and 
thought to add fresh laurels to his spurious dia- 
dem by introducing an original song. 

When the time seemed opportune, he arose, 
and hushing the buzz and clatter with a wave of 
his hand, announced that he had written words 
for a song to the air of "Dixie." "I suppose 
you all can sing 'Dixie' ? " he enquired. " Yas, 
suh, Brudder Jimson, " came the answer from 
every part of the room. 

"Then I will line off the first stanza to you, as 
your preachers do in meeting: — 

' Oh, forty acres and a mule to plow, 
A two-room cabin and a brindle cow. ' ' 



" Forty Acres AND A MuLE" \B\_ 

He waved his hands like a singing master to 
start them off. They started, and with more 
gusto than they had put into any of the other 
songs of the evening. But alas for the poet! 
The mention of Dixie had gone clean through the 
rubbish of Union League patriotism, and had 
struck their hearts. Only a few started to sing 
the words lined off; nearly every voice came 
out from the first, full and strong: "Oh, 'way 
down South in de Ian' ob cotton." 

He shouted for silence. The president of the 
evening tried to rescue the poet and his verses, 
hammering loudly with his gavel, but nothing 
could stop the song. Again they were in the 
cotton and corn fields, singing as they worked ; or 
on a holiday in the wood, cooking for a great 
barbecue, over pits in the ground; or under the 
master's window giving a serenade. Their shelf- 
worn patriotism was all gone, and they sang the 
old song through from first to last, with chorus 
repeated after each verse. They wept for the 
good old days, they shook each other by the hand, 
and when it was finished they were silent in medi- 
tation. But they did not shout nor get the power. 
Their hearts, not their passions, had been moved. 

After this return to total depravity, the leaders 
were taken with a panic for adjournment, and the 
ritual for closing the meeting was abbreviated to a 
degree. The inner circle remained for consulta- 
tion, the others went silently and thoughtfully away. 

The next morning. Pleas recounted to his young 
master his experiences at the meeting, reserving 
only such portions of the events as were unimpor- 
tant, to save his obligations. 



XVI 

A Man without a Country 

ABOUT this time there was bitter activity in 
the County Guards at Kosciusko. Not a 
day was allowed to pass without its full record of 
persecution and humiliation. Some unfortunate, 
struggling weak-handed and alone to breast the 
devastating tide that had overwhelmed his home, 
was seized by cowardly hands and torn from his 
desperate task to answer a frivolous charge before 
the Provost-Marshal, or his honor, N. Lex Witan, 
Magistrate. The maintenance of peace and order 
was the special charge of the Federal troops, but 
Captain Brewster, a good officer in action, had 
become too indolent in camp to study the shaping 
of events, and showed little concern so long as 
his men did not participate in the countless inci- 
dents intended to create disorder. He took not 
the trouble to interfere with the Guards in the prac- 
tice of its craft, for the manufacture of offense 
had become its sole occupation. 

And there was apparent reason for all this 
malevolent activity, when one was familiar with 
the internal workings of affairs. The general 
office of Provost-Marshal had outlived already the 
term for which it was created, and unless it made 
a show of utility the Federal authorities would 
hardly renew its tenure, and the horde of deputies 
would be tlirown back upon the tender mercies of 
the world, to make a living like other and better 

182 



A Man without a Country 183 

men. The Freedmen's Bureau was called into 
being as a temporary measure following emanci- 
pation, and if the white man of the South were to 
accept the situation now before him and provide 
employment for his late slaves without a clash of 
interest, then the occupation of the agents was 
gone. Here lay the interests of two strong classes 
of politicians wholly dependent upon the abuse of 
power for a continuance of official life, with all 
the corrupt gains they had contrived to make. 
And these stealings were enormous, and were 
increasing daily. The strife must be maintained! 
In this extremity the County Guards had been 
indispensable, for, by the logic of its creation and 
by the character of its personnel, it could be used 
only as a tool. 

But Captain Avery, on taking command of the 
company a few days before, had gone studiously 
into the condition of things, and the questions he 
had put to the officers of the Guards, the Provost- 
Marshal, and the agent and lackeys about the 
Freedmen's Bureau gave little promise of continu- 
ance to the system of abuses then in vogue. 
True, he had not yet interfered, but an eruption 
was daily expected from him, and they all feared 
it, for he was the ranking officer, and he was 
known to be a determined and purposeful man. 

The voluntary appearance of Colonel Grayson 
to take the oath of allegiance had disappointed 
the Guards of one victim on whom it had counted, 
since Felix Grayson had reported his name some 
days before. But Major Lewis remained unre- 
constructed, and to all appearances, politically 
unregenerate. A member of the late Confederate 



184 In the Wake of War 



Congress, a man of aristocratic birth and tenden- 
cies, a man of known wealth, had not sworn to 
support the Government! Here was a shining 
mark! Captain Jonas Smith called his troop to- 
gether in solemn council. It never would do for 
the whole body to march out with swords and 
staves to take one man. For once they recognized 
the quality of shame. So it was arranged that 
lots should be cast for good men and true, out of 
their number, to make the arrest. Straws were 
drawn, and six short stems decided the fate of as 
many brave men to participate in the event next 
day. 

But such another epidemic of disease had not 
been witnessed in Williams County since the con- 
script officers were last there, and the next morn- 
ing not a man of the six was able to come to 
scratch. Major Lewis was known to have main- 
tained his honor on two occasions upon the bluff 
overlooking the Opal, a famous dueling ground, 
and it was a matter of local rumor that at both 
these events he gave his antagonist the choice of 
position. He never had been heard to mention 
these little matters, but of his courage no one who 
knew him had a doubt. And hid away in the 
stately old mansion at Fairfax was a brace of duel- 
ing pistols, the memory of which struck terror 
and disease to the very heart and vitals of the 
Guards. 

While Captain Jonas Smith and the survivors 
of his clan were considering their dilemma. Major 
Lewis rode into Kosciusko and began a diligent 
enquiry for the office of the Provost-Marshal. The 
sheriflE early discovered his intended victim, and 



A Man without a Country |85 

hastening out oflfered to introduce him to Captain 
Samson. 

" No, I thank you, Smith, I am not too bashful 
to introduce myself. If you will direct me to the 
office of his majesty, I will be duly thankful." 

' ' Cert'nly, Major, cert'nly, up here in the Bos- 
worth house. I '11 show yo' the way." And he 
took the lead, hoping thereby to get credit for 
having brought the Major in. But at the front 
door Major Lewis quickly dismounted, and throw- 
ing the rein to Smith, said: "Hold my horse, 
please, while I attend to this business. I hope not 
to detain you long." And lie went into the house 
to face Federal authority. 

The Provost-Marshal, acting on the custom of 
his kind, had taken for a business desk a hand- 
some table. This occupied a position in the cen- 
tre of the back parlor, so that each person who 
came in, either on business or for gossip, added 
to the increasing defilement of the elegant furnish- 
ings of the rooms. 

As Major Lewis entered, the officer sat with 
chair tilted back and showed a clean pair of num- 
ber eleven army brogans on the dainty finish of 
his writing table. Half a dozen men in old army 
uniforms, perhaps the very men who were selected 
by a cruel fate to make the arrest, but now fully 
recovered from their late indisposition, lounged 
about the rooms, smoking that vile mixture of 
vegetable offal known to commerce as "sutler's 
tobacco." They evidently expected the humilia- 
tion of the Major, and if they were afraid to par- 
ticipate in his arrest, they could lend to its climax 
the dignity and grace of their presence. 



186 In the Wake of War 

The Major walked into the room with perfect 
unconcern, bowing as he entered, and without a 
look at any one in particular, said: "I wish you 
all good-morning! " He then stepped up to the 
desk on which slumbej-ed the army shoes, gave 
the M^earer a scrutinizing look, and enquired: 
"This is Colonel Samson, Deputy Provost- 
Marshal, I reckon?" 

' ' Yes, that ' s my name, Provost-Marshal for 
this district. Yes, what can I do for you ? " He 
expected Major Lewis with an escort of County 
Guards. That this delicate looking man, entirely 
unattended, should be the victim had not crossed 
his calculation, 

"My name, sir, is Lewis, Walker Lewis, of 
the 6th Civil District, this County. I am here, 
sir, of my own free will and accord to confer with 
you, as the representative of the Federal Govern- 
ment, on the matter of taking the oath of alle- 
giance," There was a scraping of heavy shoes 
over the polished surface of the table, and official 
dignity inhabited the countenance and attitude of 
the Marshal in an instant. 

" Oh, yes, yes. You 're Major Lewis, glad to 
meet you, Major, Yes, yes, you 're at the right 
place. Will 3'^ou take the oath at once ? If so, 
hold up your right hand, Major," and the eager 
officer put himself in posture to administer. 

"You evidently did not understand me, sir. 
I say I am here to confer with you regarding 
the taking of this oath. There are some matters 
bearing upon the act and its obligations, about 
which I desire information," said the Major, with 
unusual deliberation. 



A Man without a Country 187 

"Oh, it's only a little matter of formality, 
required by the Government; a kind of renounc- 
ing allegiance to the late Confederacy, and renew- 
ing it to the old flag," explained Captain Samson. 

" Is that all there is to it, Colonel ? " 

" That is all, Major Lewis," said the officer. 

"Then there is no occasion for me to be here. 
I owe no allegiance to a Confederacy, for there is 
no Confederacy. That capitulated three months 
ago, and is now a fact in history only. I beg 
pardon for having troubled you on a matter of no 
importance." And the Major started to leave 
the room. 

" But, Major Lewis, while, as I said in the 
first place, this taking of the oath is a matter of 
formality, it is nevertheless one that the Govern- 
ment requires," said the Provost-Marshal, by 
way of stopping the retreat of the Major. 

' ' How does the Government require it ? By 
statute law ? ' ' 

" By special Act of Congress, sir. My instruc- 
tions are to see that every Rebel in this district is 
brought to acknowledge allegiance to the Federal 
Government. That is what I am here for, and 
that is what I sent after you for," said the Mar- 
shal, with rising warmth. 

" You sent after me ? " 

"Yes." 

" When, may I ask? " 

' ' This morning, sir ! " 

" Now, Colonel Samson, we may as well come 
to an understanding early as to go into a long and 
fruitless controversy. First, I am here of my 
own free will and act. I was not informed that 



188 In the Wake of War 

you had sent for me. I do not recognize your 
authority to send for me as you would send out 
after one of your lackeys." Here the Major 
indicated by a wave of his hand the row of 
Guards sitting about the room. "Second, I am 
advised of all the acts of Congress up to the first 
of the present month, and if there is one such as 
you have mentioned, I will trouble you for a 
reference to it, or to show it to me. Third, I 
will be obliged to you if you will show me instruc- 
tions from officers in authority, ot the kind you 
have just now indicated, requiring you to bring 
all Rebels, as you choose to call us, back to alle- 
giance by way of an oath that you aloiie have 
power to administer. And, last of all, as I have 
already intimated, when the government at Rich- 
mond collapsed, my allegiance returned. Ipso 
facto, and without operation of any functional 
virtue delegated to you, unto the parent govern- 
ment, that of the United States of America." 

"Then do I understand that you refuse to take 
the oath ? Do you still stand defiant to the laws 
and dignity of the United States ? " asked the 
Marshal, wroth that his much vaunted authority 
should be ignored. 

' ' I did not refuse, sir, I simply asked for 
definite knowledge of your powers and instruc- 
tions," said the Major, with tantalizing indiffer- 
ence. 

"But does this quibbling amount to a refusal 'i " 
persisted the Marshal. 

"If you will pardon a personal remark," said 
the Major, "I will say that the Deputy Provost- 
Marshal for this district seems to be more con- 



A Man without a Country 189 

cerned about his own official dignity, than about 
the hiws that create his office, and define his 
powers. I have not quibbled; I have not refused. 
I have questioned your jurisdiction, and you are 
bound to establish it or drop the matter en- 
tirely." 

"But the question is: Will you take the oath 
or will you not ? ' ' thundered the Marshal in 
a rage, as he pounded the table before him. 

Major Lewis would have become very angry 
in all probability, at the pompous vanity of the 
officer, had not the latter lost his temper so early 
in the controversy. As it was, he pursued the 
course of calm, conscious superiority, against 
which bluster always rails to its own discredit. 
Before answering the last question he moved 
deliberately to the back of the table, looked the 
Marshal squarely in the face, and seemed to grow 
tall and powerful as he said: — 

"I have neither consented nor refused, do not 
mistake nor misquote me, sir. I have simply 
asked for such information as one must have to 
act understandingly. Instead of giving me this, 
you swell yourself out with official importance 
and pound this table. Such arguments some- 
times fail; this is one of the times. When you 
are prepared to treat with me intelligently, I 
shall be glad to meet you; but I can not be 
coerced into doing that which I do not under- 
stand. I may take the oath of allegiance; I may 
not do so. It all depends on a fair and reason- 
able construction of the laws of the land. I wish 
you good-morning, sir." And the Major turned 
and walked from the room. 



190 In the Wake of War 

Stepping out of the front door upon the ve- 
randa, he collided with an officer who stood talk- 
ing with Jonas Smith. 

' ' I beg your pardon, sir. The interview I 
have had right now left nie somewhat pre-occii- 
pied, and I did not mind your presence." 

"No harm done, sir, nor apology necessary. 
This is Major Lewis, I believe ? " 

"Yes, sir, my name is Lewis." 

"My name is Avery, Major Lewis, command- 
ing Company K, stationed here at Kosciusko. 
I was encamped at Elmiugton nearly two years 
ago, and while there I heard Colonel Grayson 
speak of you often, and very highly," said the 
Captain, 

"Ah, Captain Avery, allow me to say that I 
am happy to make your acquaintance. Colonel 
Grayson has mentioned your naaie to me many 
times. I was from home at the time you speak 
of." 

' ' In attendance upon a session of your Con- 
gress, I believe." 

While this introductory conversation was being 
conducted upon the veranda, there was great tur- 
moil within the house. The Provost-Marshal was 
so tlK)roughly stunned and angered by the Ma- 
jor's defiance, that he did not recover the use of 
his senses and authority until the latter was well 
out of the house. In his rage he stamped on the 
floor and shouted to the men sitting about: 
"Arrest him. Guards! Bring him back, and 
I will make him take the oath, or, damn him, 
we '11 kill him. Shall we be over-run by these 
aristocratic vermin ? Bring him back, I tell 



A Man without a Country I9I 

you! " And he continued in this strain, but 
awakened no movement in response. 

"Won't you step into the house with me, 
Major Lewis? I want to make a little investi- 
gation of this case," said Captain Avery, with 
a frankness of countenance that gave confidence. 

"With the greatest of pleasure, Captain Avery, 
inasmuch as you request it. For myself, one 
interview is enough; I settled all my matters 
before coming out." 

" What is the meaning of all this uproar. Cap- 
tain Samson ? " asked Avery. 

"Oh, Major Lewis comes in here and quibbles 
about taking the oath of allegiance, and finally 
questions my authority to administer " 

"Stop there, sir! In the presence of all these 
witnesses, you lie," said the Major with perfect 
composure, but with force that set Samson to 
quaking. The Marshal turned white, then purple 
in the face, under Major Lewis's piercing eye, 
but made no move to answer the insult. He 
would have spoken, but Captain Avery motioned 
for silence. 

' ' When I asked you to come in here, Major 
Lewis, it was not to investigate you, but the 
workings of this office. To that end, will you 
have the kindness to state this matter to me as 
fully as you care to? You shall not be inter- 
rupted," said Avery. 

"It is mighty near this way: I came to Kos- 
ciusko this morning to see about taking the oath 
of allegiance, and before taking it I made some 
enquiries, such as I thought a prudent man ought 
to make, but I could get no satisfactory informa- 



192 In the Wake of War 



tion. I asked to be shown the act by virtue of 
which the oath is administered, and was answered 
with loud words, entirely foreign to the subject, 
and tremendous pounding on this table. Not satis- 
fied with that kind of instruction in the way 
I should go, and despairing of getting any better, 
I walked out upon the porch, intending to ride 
home, when I met you. That is about all there 
is to it." 

"Did you come voluntarily, Major Lewis?" 
asked Captain Avery. 

"Entirely so, sir," answered the Major. 

Samson started to speak, but Avery looked at 
him sternly and said: "One thing at a time, 
Captain Samson. We will reach your side of the 
case in a moment. I propose to take this thing 
in its order. One of you men go out and hold 
that horse, and tell Captain Smith to come in 
here." 

Smith entered, looking very foolish. 

" Did you not tell me just now that you brought 
Major Lewis in under arrest to take the oath of 
allegiance?" asked Avery of Jonas. 

"I doan remember jest what I tole yo', Cap'n. 
We hed o'ders to arrest him, but the men took 
sick las' night. As I said afo', I doan remem- 
ber what I said. But I was goin' out to ask him 
to come in, when I seen him ride into town," 
said Smith, with some confusion. 

"You told me, very boastfully, not more than 
five minutes ago, that you went out to Fairfax, 
arrested Major Lewis and brought him in. Did 
you not tell me so ? " 

" I reckons I did, Cap'n." 



A Man without a Country 193 

<'Did you arrest him, or did you not?" de- 
manded Avery, fiercely. 

"He come to town hisself. I come up here 
with him," said Smith, with an air of triumph. 

"And held his horse at the door," put in Cap- 
tain Avery. "Well, go back and finish your 
job, but don't leave the premises until I see you 
again." Smith started out, but Avery called: 
"Stop, one thing more. By whose orders were 
you to arrest Major Lewis, if you got courage 
enough ? " 

"On Cap'n Samson's o'ders, of co'se," he an- 
swered, and then hurried out of doors. 

Turning to Captain Samson, he asked: "Are 
you issuing orders for the arrest of people, to 
compel them to take the oath of allegiance ? ' ' 

"I have in some cases." 

"What kind of orders, written or oral?" 

"Oral, I " 

"Answer my questions, please. By what 
authority do you arrest people ? " 

" By Act of Congress," he answered, with great 
assurance. 

"Show me the Act." 

The Provost-Marshal hunted and rummaged 
about in his books and papers for some minutes, 
and finally said: " I don't seem to find the section, 
but I have authority." 

"Don't you know that the oath of allegiance is 
simply a privilege extended to late confederates 
by proclamation of President Johnson ? It is not 
compulsory. If they want to renew their relations 
with the Federal Government, it can be done by 
the oath, but there is no law requiring them to 



194 In the Wake of War 



take it. Every effort on your part to force it 
upon them is flagrant abuse of power. I suspect 
there is too much abuse of authority being prac- 
ticed here now, and I mean to make it my occu- 
pation for a time to stop it. ' ' 

' ' You liave asked Captain Samson practically 
the same questions that I did only a few moments 
ago, and you have obtained for me the information 
that I sought in vain to get." Then turning to 
Samson the Major continued: " For the present, 
Mr. Deputy Provost-Marshal, I shall not take the 
oath of allegiance." 

"Then you are not a citizen of the United 
States of America," put in Samson, as a parting- 
shot. 

' ' By my own choice, not by virtue of your 
decree," said Major Lewis. "If all the repre- 
sentatives of the Government were like you, 
Captain Avery, I would travel a long way to take 
this oath, and thus become identified with its 
citizens. But as the other party seems to pre- 
dominate, 1 shall choose, for a time, to remain a 
man without a country. Allow me to say again, 
that I am very glad to know you. Captain Avery, 
and I hope to have the pleasure of entertaining 
you at Fairfax soon, at your convenience." 

"Thank you, Major Lewis, I shall call on you 
very soon." 

"I wish you good-morning. Captain Samson; 
good-bye, for the present, Captain Avery." And 
Major Lewis walked out. 

"Tell Captain Smith to come into the house, 
and you sitters, step out," said Avery, to the 
loungers about the room. 



A Man without a Country 195 

The exact words that passed at this triangular 
interview between the captains, will never find 
record in this or any other authentic history. 
Captain Avery, the only one present capable of 
giving an honest version, was too modest to 
report a matter in which he took the part of task- 
master; but results followed that proved it to have 
been decisive, and caused the impression to spread 
that unless the plotters devised new schemes, 
their services in that community would be needed 
no more. One probable effect was manifest in 
the forthwith setting out by Captain Samson, to 
hunt new quarters for his office among the deserted 
store buildings of Kosciusko. 

But Captain Avery did not rest with this reck- 
oning. No sooner was it over than he betook 
himself to the headquarters of the Freedmen's 
Bureau, where he finished the good work while 
he had it well in hand. There followed a short 
and happy season of quiet, during which the 
vocations of peace were pursued with little inter- 
ruption. 



XVII 

Shows Again That Peace Hath Her Victories 

CAPTAIN AVERY followed the work of re- 
adjusting the civa] and military methods at 
Kosciusko by taking a hand at domestic recon- 
struction. No sooner was the office of the Pro- 
vost-Marshal removed to quarters more suitable 
to its dignity and condition, than he supervised 
scrubbing and airing the Bosworth house into 
a state of tolerable inhabitance. This done, he 
started out to find the rightful possessors, and 
with the aid of Anton Nelson and other reputable 
Unionists, introduced Mrs. Bosworth and daughter 
to the occupation of their ov/n home. 

This last proceeding was attended with such 
profuse thanks from Mrs. Bosworth and her 
daughter. Miss Betty, as well as a kindly word 
from nearly every person of apparent respec- 
tability whom he met, that Captain Avery felt at 
once that he moved in a different atmosphere. It 
seemed to open the door for his possible entry 
into a social circle heretofore closed and barred 
against him as the representative of a common 
enemy, (not a conqueror in battles, but one that 
was assailing their institutions and local customs) 
— an enemy that sought to make the South 
cosmopolitan, when she preferred to retain her 
own and old social and economic systems, sub- 
ject only to such changes as were made necessary 
by the new order of things. And these changes, 

196 



Peace Hath Her Victories J97_ 

the Southerners themselves wanted to make, and 
not have them injected by persons who could not 
respect theii- likes and dislikes. He seemed to 
have stepped out of this list, and was well re- 
ceived not only by Mrs. Bosworth and her daugh- 
ter, but by all their circle of friends. 

Encouraged by this suddenly acquii*ed social 
popularity. Captain Avery thought to push his 
acquaintance with Colonel Grayson's family, and 
rode out to Elmington the next evening after his 
triumph. He found Pleas in charge, and asked 
if Colonel Grayson was at home. 

"Naw, suh. He been 'way fo' 'bout week," 
answered Pleas. 

" Is Captain Grayson at home ? " 

"Naw, suh, not right now." 

' ' Is Miss Mary Lou at home, then ? ' ' persisted 
the Captain. 

"Naw, suh. She 'way with Cunnel Grayson. 
Now what yo' ask dat fo' ? What yo' sojers 
wants?" asked Pleas, who feared more trouble 
was brewing for his master. 

" Oh, nothing in particular. They are friends 
of mine and I simply called to pay my respects," 
answered the Captain, somewhat amused by the 
interest displayed by a negro servant. " Do you 
know when Colonel Grayson and Miss Mary Lou 
will return ? " he continued. 

"Naw, suh, I doan know. 'Sides, I doan 
reckon we has friends with Yankee sojers." 

' ' Please say to Captain Grayson that Captain 
Avery called to pay a friendly visit to Colonel 
Grayson and his family, ' ' said Avery, as he rode 
away. 



198 In the Wake of War 



" Yas, suh, I tells him." 

But Captain Avery was not the person to be 
dismayed into ostracism, even on the decree of so 
great a functionary as Pleas, and it came con- 
venient for him to ride past Elmington the next 
evening. This time he was more fortunate, for 
he made the acquaintance of Howard. From him 
he learned the nature of the business that had 
carried Colonel Grayson and Miss Mary Lou from 
home; further, that Miss Margaret had already 
brightened up, but was still very weak and ill, 
and that all hands would return on the second 
day following. 

The Captain had spent much thought during 
the last few days and nights, in the vain effort to 
devise a plea that would justify an early second 
call upon the Graysons. His general invitation 
from the Colonel would carry him there properly, 
as soon as they were at home; but how should he 
give color to a second visit before the reasonable 
delay requii*ed of a formal acquaintance, for he 
could not persuade himself that he might claim to 
be more than that. He had resolved long before, 
that if either the fortunes of war or any influence 
he might be able to command should place him 
within reach of Elmington, he would press this 
acquaintance with all fitting decorum, hoping to 
dislodge from the mind or fancy of Miss Mary 
Lou her dislike for Yankee soldiers, or for one, 
at least. But luck had been more favorable than 
he had hoped, and he found himself located at the 
nearest military post, in the most advantageous 
position possible, and all without the exercise of 
political or military influence. Had he been less 



Peace Hath Her Victories 199 

a materialist he might have regarded the whole 
string of events as predestined, especially as he 
was the possible beneficiary — for without the aid 
of direct profit, we can seldom pierce the nebula 
surrounding foreordination and distinguish it from 
luck. 

And now, to fill his cup to overflowing, here 
was his excuse — an excuse that approached a 
duty — for he must make frequent calls to enquire 
after the health of the invalid, and perhaps he 
might be of service. Accordingly he rode up the 
avenue at Elmington on the evening of the day 
appointed for the traveler's return. He saw Mary 
Lou for a moment only, as her patient required 
constant attention, but he made good use of the 
time. 

" Please command me, if there is anything I 
can do for your friend," he said, after a few 
questions about herself and her trip. 

"Tliere is nothing, absolutely nothing, I fear. 
It is very kind of you to offer, that is, very kind 
for a Yankee," she answered, not forgetting her 
banter. 

He acknowledged the qualification by an uncon- 
scious twitch about the corners of his mouth. 

"But how about your physician? Are you 
entirely satisfied with him ? " he continued. 

" I am not. Captain Avery, but Mr. Dodge 
seems to have confidence in our old neighborhood 
physician, Doctor Anderson. He is an excellent 
man, and a good doctor for ordinary cases, but 
Margaret is so nervous — it is pitiful to see her at 
times." 

' ' With your permission I will speak to your 



200 In the Wake of War 



brother about this, and after he has talked with 
Mr. Dodge perhaps I can be of service in this 
particular. I should like to do something." 

"You are very kind, Captain Averj — with 
the usual qualification. But I must go back to 
Margaret, and there comes Howard to entertain 
you, so let me wish you good-evening."" And she 
disappeared in the house. 

He called the next evening, and again the even- 
ing following that, and saw Colonel Grayson and 
Howard each time, but Mary Lou sent excuses. 
The third evening he brought a bouquet of garden 
flowers, contributed by Anton Nelson, which he 
gave to Howard to be sent to the sick-room. On 
this occasion he was introduced to Mr. Dodge, 
and suggested to him the matter of a consultation 
of doctors. 

' ' I am pretty well 8atisfi.ed with Doctor Ander- 
son," said Dodge, in his full, loud voice. "When 
I was up North for my health, I met no such doc- 
tors as he is, none so careful and steady; a little 
slow for me, for I am a hustler, myself, but he is 
very careful. I like a hustler. Captain, whether 
in business or war or medicine; but a careful man 
is the next best. Who were you going to sug- 
gest?" 

' ' I will take pleasure in sending to Nashville 
for one of the most skillful physicians in the serv- 
ice, and will have him down on the afternoon 
train to-morrow. I can bring him out from 
Kosciusko at about this hour," said Avery. 

"You are very kind. Captain, very kind. You 
must be a Southern man. Captain, .judging from 
this act of splendid courtesy. That is the way we 



Peace Hath Her Victories 201 

do down here, try to help each other. I have just 
brought down a carload of the finest horses that 
ever looked through a collar, to help this section 
out; for said I to myself: 'The war has taken all 
the decent horse stock out of Middle Tennessee, 
and we must have good horses.' But what will it 
cost to bring this doctor out from the city ? You 
see I have been up into your country for my 
health and have learned to ask the price of things 
in advance — have to do it up there, you know." 

"It will cost you nothing, Mr, Dodge. These 
surgeons attached to the Federal army, are paid 
salaries and have little to do now, and are always 
glad to be of service," answered Avery, some- 
what perplexed with the peculiarities of Mr. 
Dodge. 

"Well, bring him along, Captain, and many 
thanks to you," said Dodge, with perceptible 
relief in the matter of fees. " I will arrange 
with Doctor Anderson for the consultation. He 
may object to meeting a Yankee army surgeon, 
but I can smooth that down. Leave that to me." 

' ' We certainly are under great obligations to 
you, Captain Avery, for this generous proposal," 
Howard put in, as soon as Dodge stopped to 
catch his breath. "There will be no trouble 
between the doctors, Mr. Dodge, for Doctor 
Anderson was an army surgeon, and soldiers 
don't quarrel." 

' ' Let me put you entirely at ease on the score 
of obligation, gentlemen," said Avery. " I feel 
a great interest in — in — extending to this house- 
hold every possible courtesy. There was a time 
when Colonel Grayson had reason to think that 



202 In the Wake of War 



the army with which I served did him great 
wrong, — mj command helped to scatter the 
destruction that we see on every Iiand, although 
I did my best to prevent it; but that grand man 
took it like a soldier — as one of the exigencies 
of war. He taught me a lesson in fortitude that 
was left out of the course at West Point, and I 
admire him, next to General Thomas, above any 
gentleman I ever knew." 

" Father is proud to hold the second place to 
General Thomas in any gentleman's good opin- 
ion," Howard hastened to say, before Dodge 
should get started. "He loves George H. 
Thomas as much as any man living, although the 
General did desert the South when we thought he 
ought to have stayed." 

' ' Yes, yes, it is very kind of you to feel as 
you do toward us — not look upon each of us as 
a personal enemy," said Dodge, bound to talk, 
although somewhat confused in ideas. " If it had 
not been that my health failed, I should have been 
your enemy in the field, and then the fortunes of 
war in the division of the Cumberland might have 
been different. I was on the point of raising a 
regiment when my health broke on me, and I had 
to go away, or die of biliousness." 

Mary Lou came out and thanked the Captain 
for the flowers, and then spoiled everything by 
asking him to thank Mr. Nelson for them. 
"Margaret was delighted that Mr. Nelson remem- 
bered her, and that a Yankee soldier should have 
been the messenger," she said. " She has more 
charity for yon-all than I have. She nursed sev- 
eral Yankees in our hospitals, for we always did 



Peace Hath Her Victories 203 

the best we could by our enemies, and she says 
that some of them are really nice men, except in 
politics. ' ' 

' ' I see you are careful to make your friend 
responsible for such an admission. Won't you 
concede as much on your own account?" asked 
Avery. 

"I never knew any of your sick," she an- 
swered. " From what Margaret says, you- all 
seem to improve under affliction." And with 
this parting shot she returned to the house. 

The next evening he drove out with Mr. Nel- 
son's horse and barouche, bringing the wise man 
from Nashville, and waited through that tedious 
amalgamation of assumption, known to the world 
as a "consultation of doctors." After that he 
became a daily caller, usually bringing flowers 
or dainties intended to cheer the patient, and at 
the same time assuage the supposed enmity of 
Mary Lou. On these visits he always met some 
of the people of the neighborhood, who seemed 
never to tire of offering services and bringing to 
the sick such delicacies as they had. This was 
another revelation to him, for the amenities of 
life seemed to supplant the very struggle for sub- 
sistence that he knew was desperate with every 
one of them. 

From all these people Avery received the high- 
est courtesy, not such as often is accorded to one 
in command, but such as is the due from one of 
gentle nature and good breeding to another in 
kind. It was tribute to personal qualities, not 
truckling to rank and station. 

Several times he met the Reverend Felix Gray- 



204 In the Wake of War 

son at the Colonel's house, and marked that he 
tried to pay uncommon court to Mary Lou, but as 
the Captain did not then understand that no blood 
relationship existed between the two, he gave the 
young preacher credit for great gallantry. He 
often saw the Rev. Felix driving out of Kosci- 
usko with a teacher from the negro school, Miss 
Edgerton, a misguided enthusiast from Ohio, and 
on one occasion met them at Elmington. Even 
Miss Edgerton was courteously received at this 
hospitable house, despite the universal commis- 
eration felt and expressed for the morbid gulli- 
bility that carried her kind to the South on an 
impossible undertaking. 

The unrelieved nursing of two weeks was now 
beginning to leave worn traces on the face of 
Mary Lou. Colonel Grayson and Howard often 
spoke of it with deep concern, and Avery fell to 
studying means for getting her air and exercise. 
And it so happened at this time that Miss Betty 
Bosworth expressed a desire to see Miss Mar- 
garet, who now was somewhat recovered and 
began to receive her old friends. 

"I would gladly take you out to Elmington," 
said Avery, " if I had the conveyance. On the 
strength of your wish I will invite you to go, but 
you must exercise your woman's ingenuity to sug- 
gest the ways and means." 

' ' Easy enough ! You have horses in camp, and 
I have an old saddle in the attic." 

"Good, so far! But our horses are not broken 
to a woman's habit." 

"Your horse surely is gentle, and the lieuten- 
ant's will carry you," she suggested. 



Peace Hath Her Victories 205 

"Good, again! Well, this evening at six, we 
are off for the first ride. Keally, I have missed 
a dozen pleasant rides for the need of a little 
invention. I have wanted to invite you to go 
out there these two weeks, and I have known that 
you wished to go — but a man can't think. Men 
are stupid beasts." 

When they arrived at Elmington, Miss Betty 
went direct to the sick-room, leaving Mary Lou to 
entertain the Captain. 

"Now, Miss Grayson, suppose you get into 
Miss Bosworth's saddle for a little canter. It 
will do you a world of good," he said. 

"I would love to ride again. It has been an 
age since I sat a horse. You Yankees spoiled 
that sport for me. ' ' 

"And I am here to do my very best to make 
amends, if for a few minutes only. Do take 
a little ride," he persisted. 

"Will you wait forme to make a change of 
habit, and not become impatient ? You Yankees 
are always in such haste." 

' ' I will wait with pleasure and real Southern 
patience. All Yankees are not impatient. Thou- 
sands of us are absolutely lazy. ' ' 

The ease with which Mary Lou sat her mount 
doubled the Captain's admiration for her. He 
was in tortures lest this should be the only ride, 
for he had come to dread what he thought was 
her spiteful caprice. But to his infinite delight 
she declared the change had refreshed her, and 
gladly accepted his invitation to repeat the ride 
on the following evening. And so it went on for 
days, Miss Betty going out to care for Margaret, 



206 In the Wake of War 



while Mary Lou took the air on horseback; not 
always at a canter, sometimes at full speed, until 
Avery was alarmed at the daring with which she 
put his horse to the whip. 

Through all these rides her manner was as- 
sumedly frank and outspoken, only it never lost 
the air of banter. No compliment or flattery 
could draw her even for a moment into a change 
of demeanor. One evening the Captain had 
occasion to speak of the fortitude of the Southern 
soldier, when he turned suddenly and said: "The 
truest heroes of the South were women." 

"I don't know any of them, unless you mean 
Margaret," she answered, with all seriousness. 

"One good example," he replied, "but I 
know of others. Your brother was a good sol- 
dier. I know the stuff a good soldier is made 
from, and he has it, but he has not half the cour- 
age of his sister. Please don't interrupt! " he 
said, raising his hand in mock threat. ' ' He has 
said that to me repeatedly, and has told me of 
a dozen instances to prove it." 

"You do Howard an injustice in that speech, 
eloquent as it was intended to be; besides, you 
are an unpardonable flatterer. If I possessed all 
the bravery you would make me believe, you 
never would dare to flatter me so outrageously. 
You know that true heroism resents false praise, 
and that it is terrible in resentment. Have you 
heard the new word Mr. Dodge brought back 
from the North? No? Well, it's 'taffy'; not 
a nice word, is it? " 

"But I insist that I shall not be driven from 
my position by ridicule. No hero ever lived but 



Peace Hath Her Victories 207 

would declare that his bravest deed was only 
a commonplace, natural act," he persisted. 

"How red that sunset is! Are you a weather- 
prophet, Captain Avery ? Shall we have no more 
rain this summer ? Poor Howard ! He has 
worked so hard on his garden, and already it 
looks like a desert. Don't you think it requires 
great fortitude to withstand a drought and an 
invasion of Yankees the same year?" she said, 
by way of turning the conversation. 

' ' Heroes, not weather, are my specialty, ' ' 
answered the Captain. " My taste and education 
are military, not meteorological, and I think I 
understand my subject better than your substi- 
tute. I would love to give Mr. Howard a little 
hope for his crop, but I can tell him that no mat- 
ter how the weather is, the Grayson family has 
fortitude for any calamity. Shall we ride down 
to the forks of the road before turning in?" 

"Not if you insist on discussing a subject on 
which you are so helplessly ignorant. I will turn 
flatterer, with your permission," she said, with 
assumed gravity, ' ' and say that you speak quite 
entertainingly, on subjects you understand. Shall 
we talk about the weather, or go home ? " 

"I yield to the weather, and a more heroic 
will than my own," he said, completely van- 
quished. 

And in this Avery spoke more truth than he 
knew, for Mary Lou Grayson at that time not 
only nursed and cared for her sick friend, but 
attended to all the domestic duties in the Grayson 
household. She cooked the meals, washed the 
dishes, swept and scrubbed. Aunt Manda was 



208 In the Wake of War 

to help, or rather to do the meanest of the work, 
but she was too old and rheumatic to be of actual 
service, and Mary Lou could not command the 
heart to drive her to work. 

With these occupations the summer advanced. 
The victories of peace were manifest on every 
side. The returned soldier was too busy with his 
disorganized affairs to give much thought to the 
shaping of political events. He wanted peace and 
quiet, and these he had in wholesome plenty after 
Avery had reformed the methods of the Federal 
authorities at Kosciusko. Few were heard to 
complain; even the most apprehensive took on 
an air of hopeful expectation. There was no 
clashing of interests. Everything was quiet. 
Even the undercurrent of trouble that was being 
fermented by the County Guards and hangers-on 
at the Freedmen's Bureau ran so quietly that the 
white men of the South failed to discover it until 
the time of inception was well passed. There was 
little joy, but there was abundant satisfaction. 
There was little comfort, but the murky clouds of 
gloom were breaking and the glorious sunshine 
of hope began to pour in. 



XVIII 

In Which Trouble Threatens 

THE sweet monotony of peace was soon inter- 
rupted by an order from the War Department 
directing that a search be made of all houses of 
late Confederates for fire-arms and other evidences 
of sedition. Captain Avery had been in daily 
contact with the people of his district for more 
than a month, and knew full well the folly of 
such instructions; but his orders gave him no dis- 
cretion. He was an honest soldier and would not 
show favors with the hope of making friends, so 
he decided on a sudden descent without notice to 
any one. The district was divided into sections, 
and his men into squads to match; but yet more 
were needed to accomplish the edict in one day. 
Accordingly, the County Guards and men about 
the Freedmen's Bureau were impressed into the 
service. 

As soon as Felix Grayson was asked to join one 
of the squads, he suggested that he be given 
command of a small detachment and assigned 
to Elmington and the houses in that immediate 
vicinity. 

" I should like to be present at my brother's 
and see that no unnecessary indignity is offered 
him, and that no uproar is made in the house. 
It would be inhuman to disturb Miss Dodge in 
her illness," he said. 

' ' Very well, Grayson, only there shall be no 

14 209 



210 In the Wake of War 

favoritism beyond that," said Avery. " I will do 
Colonel Grayson any favor that does not conflict 
with an impartial discharge of duty. Make the 
search thorough, but don't disturb Miss Dodge." 

' ' As you say, Captain, there shall be no neglect 
of duty, although it will hurt me beyond measure 
to see my proud brother and his proud family 
humiliated," answered Felix, with apparent feel- 
ing. " You shall say to me, on receipt of my 
report of to-morrow's work : ' Well done, good 
and faithful servant.' I would like Jonas Smith 
in my company, Captain, if you have no other 
disposition to make of him." 

"That suggestion helps me out of a mess, for 
I have not known what to do with him," said 
Avery. "I could not trust him to command a 
squad, and his position as Captain of the Guards 
makes it awkward for me to ask him to go under 
a private or noncommissioned officer. But he 
will go with you cheerfully, and you can see that 
he does no mischief." 

Accordingly, Felix, Jonas Smith and two others 
set off the following morning to execute their 
orders. They stopped first at the house of Mr. 
Dodge and were going through the form of search, 
but this gentleman declared with much vehemence 
that he had been a Union man from the first. 
"I am no Rebel, gentlemen, not John Dodge! 
I went up North to get away from the blamed 
conscript officers." 

" Then yo' an' me is podners, Colonel Dodge. 
I alius toted fair with the Union; alius, suh," 
said Jonas, with a familiarity that was not alto- 
gether pleasing to Mr. Dodge. But the stop at 



In Which Trouble Threatens 211 

Saunders' Lodge, (for so Mr. Dodge had chris- 
tened the homestead after the death of Mr. Saun- 
ders) gave the party the information that Colonel 
Grayson and Howard were both from home, 
which was especially welcome to Felix. 

Pleas announced the officers to Mary Lou, 
and on her appearance the Reverend Felix, with 
much show of interest, explained the nature of 
the visitation. 

"It's only a matter of form, Mary Lou," he 
said, "but I very much regret that brother and 
Howard are both from home. It will take only 
a minute, and I will vouch that Miss Dodge is 
not disturbed. I hope she is improving under 
your excellent care?" 

' ' I think she improves slowly, but not because 
of my attentions. I know nothing of nursing, 
and deserve no credit for her recovery." She 
spoke this in an abstracted manner, as if her mind 
was still on the business in hand. " Can not this 
be put off until either father or Howard returns ? ' ' 
she continued. 

" Our instructions are very explicit and impera- 
tive. I have no choice to exercise; but for that 
matter, unless you tell them on their return, they 
never will know it. JSTothing will be disturbed. 
I will have Smith go through the form, and then 
we will go on. Or, if you prefer, I will make 
the search while Smith stays here in the hall. 
Yes, that is better. You show me through the 
house, so that I will not disturb Miss Dodge." 

So Felix went to the second floor, and looked 
from room to room in all places where lire- arms 
would not have been concealed, had there been 



212 In the Wake of War 



such things on the premises. He was very quiet, 
did not go near the sick room, and tried to 
impress Mary Lou with his utter indifference to 
the spirit of his instructions. As he came down 
to the first floor he called out to Smith who was 
already in the carriage: " Have you made a thor- 
ough search, Captain Smith ? ' ' 

"Yas, suh, Parson; looked behin' err do' an' 
foun' nerr a gun," answered Smith, with a chuckle. 

" Well, you drive on, and don't wait for me. 
This is all we have for you to do to-day." 

No implements of war were found, save the old 
sword of Casa de Mata, which was left undis- 
turbed in its sheath; but by special instructions, 
Jonas Smith carried out of the mansion at Elming- 
ton a grain-sack full of papers, the entire con- 
tents of Colonel Grayson's old writing desk. 
These comprised title papers, business memo- 
randa, personal letters, — some from his father, 
others from his wife. All were ruthlessly 
dumped into the bag and carried out to the car- 
riage, while Felix was in the upper part of the 
house and Mary Lou was with her patient. 

That night in the privacy of his room, Felix 
Grayson went over them carefully; and, after 
abstracting one file that he thought would serve 
a purpose in the future, he hurled them back into 
the sack and returned them to Colonel Grayson 
early the next morning. 

"I didn't know what the creature had done," 
Felix said to his brother, with great humility, 
'< until late last night. He said our orders cov- 
ered papers of a seditious nature, and that your 
desk with its bulging contents looked suspicious. 



In Which Trouble Threatens 213 

I found him looking them over and took them 
from him. Here they are all safe and sound; 
and if you like I will help you return them to the 
desk. You see, Brother Eodeny, he took them 
while I was up stairs. No fault of mine, I assure 
you." 

' ' I reckon they are all safe and no harm is 
done. They have no value to any person in the 
world except myself and Howard. I expect, 
Felix, I am under obligations to you for this 
early recovery of these heart treasures," answered 
Colonel Grayson, holding up a bundle of the 
letters from his wife. 

"Don't mention that, Brother Rodeny. If 
you only would call on me oftener I might be of 
service to you. How is Mary Lou and how is her 
patient doing this morning? " 

" Tolerably well, I think, in both cases." 

And the parson drove on. Pleas, who stood 
by while the explanation was being made, did not 
forgive as quickly as his master, or perhaps sus- 
pected more evil. As he lifted the bag full of 
documents, he said to Colonel Grayson: " Dat 
Jonas Smith git hisself hu't, he doan min'."- 

The harvest of all this splurge was a stack of 
old squirrel guns and flintlocks, each and every 
one of which was a keepsake. Some had been 
handed down from ancestors who had braved the 
terrors of pioneer life, or the perils of the war for 
Independence. The witnesses of incipient insur- 
rection or sedition were wholly wanting. 

But the exploit had its issue. The delicate 
social structure that had been reared over the 
waste and ruin of the war, was rent; the quiet 



214 In the Wake of War 

of home life was barbarously shocked ; the parole, 
given in good faith, was dishonorably violated, 
— but not by the ex-confederate — all this by the 
ruffianly interposition of the political arm of the 
Government, the Government that had exchanged 
its vows of protection for unconditional surrender. 
The apprehensive ones were again alarmed, and 
as they met asked one of another: " What next? " 
The more hopeful said: " The honor of the victor 
must equal the humiliation of the vanquished, 
hence our perfect peace is near." But they knew 
not the force of Political Necessity — that god or 
demon that is blind to contract, express or im- 
plied, and deaf to every appeal for justice and 
humanity. 

After a few days of turmoil and anxiety, the 
work of rebuilding and the burden of sorrow and 
disappointment were resumed. The loss of time 
was small, but the hours were precious in the 
frenzied struggle for bread. The added weight of 
sorrow and gloom to those already staggering with 
their melancholy load, represented the iniquity of 
the whole proceeding. 

Captain Avery, who carried a full store of offi- 
cial dignity and independence, sought no open- 
ing for an explanation of his conduct in making 
the search, and continued without interruption his 
visits to Elmington, and his rides on horseback 
in company with Mary Lou. The third day after 
the incident of the search he met Manning Lewis 
there and marked a formality of manner in him 
never before displayed. This was new treatment, 
and Avery dismissed it as one of the unhappy 
results of the raid. He had expected it from 



In Which Trouble Threatens 215 

every quarter, and had been surprised that the 
Grajsons had not so much as mentioned the sub- 
ject. Of the score of persons affected by the 
search whom he had met, Lewis was the only one 
who made show of resentment. 

On the other hand Manning Lewis had watched 
with keen interest the frequent rides of the Fed- 
eral Captain with Mary Lou. This had given him 
no unusual concern, for he knew of her unflagging 
loyalty to her people, and often had listened to 
her sharp raillery of Avery. But now, after the 
most high-handed exhibition of authority, the 
Captain continued his visits, and to all appear- 
ances, was as heartily received as before. He 
now felt certain that his rival had made an impres- 
sion beyond his most jealous fears. 

Avery's progress must be stopped at all haz- 
ards; yet Lewis dared not mention the matter 
either to Mary Lou or Hov/ard. There was sug- 
gested but one course — Avery must answer to 
him in person. Yet he had no right or claim 
to speak for Mary Lou; only Hov/ard or Colonel 
Grayson could do that, and they seemed content. 
As he brooded over the disappointment that 
threatened him, the matter of the recent search 
struck him full in the face like a personal rebuff. 
The stealth and mistrust of the incursion was an 
outrage to their honorable intentions and well- 
observed parole. Some one ought to be made 
responsible for this gratuitous and brutal insult to 
all his people; and who, but Avery, could be held 
to accountability ? 

Without considering the political results of the 
act, he decided to raise a personal quarrel and get 



216 In the Wake of War 

his revenge. Twice he sought a meeting, casual 
in appearance, but failed. On the third evening 
occasion favored, and Manning Lewis and Captain 
Avery met at the foot of a hill on the old 
Kosciusko turnpike. 

Avery was riding the horse of his lieutenant 
and leading his own horse, all accoutred for Miss 
Mary Lou. He was already late for his appoint- 
ment, and was making all possible speed, but 
Manning with his horse across the way, blocked 
the pike. 

"Good-evening, Captain Avery," said Man- 
ning, in no friendly voice and manner. " I have 
hoped for several days to see you, when there 
were no ladies present, to have a little talk." 

"I will grant you a few minutes, with the 
greatest of pleasure, although I am already late 
for my appointment. How can I serve you. 
Lieutenant Lewis ? " 

" In no way, I thank you ; we of the South are 
asking no service right now. I have been wanting 
to ask you why you insisted on putting that in- 
famous order for the search of our house into such 
peremptory and oppressive form ? " 

"Well, Lieutenant, in the first place, I don't 
know that I ' insisted ' on doing it. I had the 
order and executed it as seemed best to me. All 
were treated alike; no favors were shown. I 
believe that is all I am called upon to explain." 

" But you found nothing; we are keeping our 
paroles; in fact the gentlemen of this part of the 
country have the habit of keeping their word. It 
looked to me like you suspected us to be guilty of 
violating our oaths of surrender. You knew all 



In Which Trouble Threatens 217 

this, yet indulged in an insinuating, suspicious 
business." 

' ' I regret that my method of executing instruc- 
tions does not accord with the customs of this 
Section, and consequently has not pleased you ; 
but I have no explanation or apology to offer in 
this instance. I did not stop to consider results, 
and never do when I have orders at stake. You 
are a military man, and know how that is. Lieu- 
tenant Lewis." 

' ' I am not asking for excuses, or explanations, 
or apologies, or whether I am a military man, or 
what I know. You represent power, force, arms, 
and a cowardly administration; one that does not 
blush or hesitate to strike a people who are hun- 
gry and defenceless. We have been deceived in 
you, that 's all. "We have thought you better 
than your company, but this underhanded stroke 
convinces me that you are one of them, a willing 
tool for scoundrels." 

"That's pretty strong language. Lieutenant 
Lewis." 

"I have no wish to modify it, sir. If neces- 
sary, I can express my meaning more directly." 

"Oh, I understand you, perfectly; but, the 
time is inopportune for a discussion that follows 
the turn you have given to this. I have an 
engagement with a lady at this moment," said 
Avery, coolly looking at his watch, " and must 
bid you good-evening. But I shall be at my 
headquarters later and will attend to any commu- 
nication you may see fit to address to me. Or, 
I will see Mr. Dodge on my way, and try to 
arrange for him to represent me. ' ' 



218 In the Wake of War 

"Ah, if a lady is waiting, I will not longer 
detain you, but will bid you good-evening, Cap- 
tain Avery." 

And each rode his way. 

Avery pushed on with all possible speed toward 
Elmington, his thoughts dividing honors between 
the two extremes: the prospect of a personal 
encounter with Manning Lewis, and the anticipa- 
tion of a pleasant ride with Mary Lou. "Well, 
here is a pretty fight on hand, just when I thought 
everything was going swimmingly," he rumi- 
nated. "And it will be a fight, too; as Mary 
Lou would say, a ' sure-enough ' fight. But, 
thank heaven, I shall have one ride more. Guess 
I brought it on myself, although Lewis played the 
fool — unless he proposes to stand sponsor for the 
whole country. I might have known that some- 
body would take me up; these people stand 
together so infernally. I suppose Miss Mary Lou 
will be more charming than ever to-night, and 
then I shall wish that I had been more con- 
ciliatory. ' ' 

At Saunders' Lodge he made a stop, to confer 
with Mr. Dodge. 

"I have a little affair on," said Avery, " and 
I have called to ask you to help me through the 
preliminaries. I can not call in any of the men 
in my company, without involving them in trouble 
with the Department; and I know your discretion 
is to be trusted. In all probability it will be over 
inside of twelve hours. Perhaps you would like 
to be present at the finish." 

' ' With pleasure. Captain, with pleasure! When 
I was up North for my health, I came near having 



In Which Trouble Threatens 219 

one of these little scraps myself, over a substitute 
I had sold; but the other fellow got wind of the 
fact I was from Tennessee and would fight, and 
he just pulled out and ran — ran like a turkey. 
Now, Captain, what instructions? " said Dodge, 
with his inevitable bluster. 

"None! Agree to everything but delay; I want 
the thing over with at the break of day to-morrow. 
Above all, don't mention it to any person." 

" What surgeon. Captain ? " 

"None! I don't want any fool doctor to go 
away and blab the whole thing. Leave that to 
Lewis. By the way, 1 forgot to mention that 
Lieutenant Lewis will send a friend to confer with 
you to-night, probably." 

"Lewis? Whew! There is great blood in the 
veins of Manning Lewis. But it's better for you 
that it is Manning rather than the old Major. 
The young blood is game, though. Yes, siree ! 
What distance, Captain ? Better make it one 
hundred feet ! ' ' 

" Let him name the distance." 

"About weapons, shall it be duelling pistols or 
navy revolvers?" persisted Dodge, who was 
trying to show familiarity with affairs of honor. 

" I don't care which. Please arrange these de- 
tails, and report to me to-night, so that I can fix 
some little matters and be on time in the mornins;. " 

"But, Captain, this is very sudden," said 
Dodge, who began to comprehend that he was 
about to engage in serious business. "How did 
it come about ? Is the fellow jealous ? Yes, yes, 
that's it; you're taking his sweetheart by storm, 
and it nettles him." 



220 In the Wake of War 

"I bad not thought of that," answered Avery. 
"No, it is the consequence of that infernal search 
I had to make. I might have conducted it with 
more consideration. If I had not been received 
socially, results would have been different; but 
under the circumstances, my method was a little 
harsh. Then I refused to make any explanation, 
and got called down; so there you have it. And 
now I am off for another ride, perhaps my last." 

He found Mary Lou waiting, not impatiently, 
but with her spirit of raillery in full command. 

"Oh, I am BO glad you are late! Energy, 
promptness, and hurry are such virtues with you 
Yankees that I rejoice in your downfall," she 
exclaimed. 

' ' I never explain or apologize to men when I 
become the victim of the inevitable; but with 
ladies it is different. I started out in good time, 
but was twice interrupted, and had to be absolutely 
rude to get here by now. I hope you have not 
been inconvenienced." 

" Not in the least. How differently we regard 
things ! With us an interruption of a business 
nature is cast aside until a mOre convenient time; 
but when we meet a neighbor in the turnpike, to 
stop for a visit is the inevitable." 

"Well, my delay was caused by business and 
pleasure both, so I stand justified before you and 
with myself. What a glorious evening for a 
ride ! " 

For the hour Avery was in his best spirits; his 
military mood seemed to have loosened by reac- 
tion from the strain of his quarrel. When he 
was about to take his leave, he remarked, rather 



In Which Trouble Threatens 221 

casually: "I would gladly ask for a canter to- 
morrow evening, but at this moment I am not cer- 
tain that the time will be at my disposal. Can't 
tell exactly how it will be with me at this time, 
twenty-four hours hence." Then with more feel- 
ing he continued: " You can not know how these 
rides have broken the tedium of camp life, and 
relieved the round of duties — often distasteful 
duties." 

' ' I never before knew that a good soldier 
found duties odious," she answered. "Soldiers 
are supposed to like duty; that is what keeps 
them in the service in times of peace, like the 
present. Be that as it may, my company has 
furnished a sort of antidote, and I have not lived 
in vain. But seriously, Captain Avery, these 
evening rides have brought me a world of health 
and a good bit of pleasure." 

' ' No, Miss Grayson, duties are not always 
pleasant, and I never shall have a better oppor- 
tunity than the present to make you my confessor. 
I had an order to execute only a few days ago 
that was most detestable. That all my friends 
here did not misunderstand me is the only com- 
pensation I have for the secret misery I endured." 

" But to hate one's duty is not heroic." 

' ' Then cowardly, be it. I am thinking seri- 
ously of quitting the service because I can see it 
is drifting toward a line of work that will be 
intolerable to me. If I had no friends here, 
matters would be different." 

" Have soldiers friends, then ? 1 thought they 
had orders, alone; and knew only obedience. 
You are becoming really entertaining and in- 



222 In the Wake of War 

structive. Do you mean to tell me that the sol- 
dier can distinguish between friend and foe ? " 

" In his heart, he can." 

"In his heart! What is that in the soldier ? " 
she interrupted, tantalizingly. 

"Oh, we have hearts, or perhaps sentiments, 
that we choose to designate as hearts. It is the 
presence of those sentiments that has caused me 
many times to think of quitting the service. 
When I have returned from one of these rides 
through this most varied and beautiful spread of 
nature, in company with the most charming young 
lady in the world, I hate myself for my occu- 
pation." 

" Keally, Captain Avery ? Then your antidote 
is only another poison. You are indeed sorely 
afflicted." 

"But I have decided to resign my commission 
— decided on it to-night. I think that I shall 
settle down here in Tennessee and become a 
planter. I like the people here the best of any 
I ever have known; I like your easy way of visit- 
ing when you ought to be at work. There seems 
to be in life something more than the bustle and 
wrangle of money-getting. Do you think I '11 be 
welcomed as a citizen?" 

"Every gentleman who speaks the English 
language and attends to his own affairs is welcome 
in the South; and I believe you answer these 
qualifications. But are you certain that you can 
accustom yourself permanently to our slow, easy 
ways ? ' ' 

"Perhaps that would depend on my immediate 
surroundings. But I have decided to resign; and 



In Which Trouble Threatens 223 

after that, I'll take up the matter of resigning 
myself to your methods of life in a regular and 
systematic manner,-' he said, thoughtfully. 

"Be certain to do everything in regular and 
systematic order; that is both military and Yan- 
kee-like. I 've had a delightful ride; good-night." 
And she went into the house, serious enough 
beneath the surface of nonsense and banter. 



XIX 

Sunrise and Psstols 

AFTER an hour of vain protest, Howard Gray- 
. son consented to represent his old comrade 
in his quarrel ; but, to speak the whole truth, he 
acquiesced only when Manning threatened to look 
elsewhere for a friend and second. Howard 
sought to carry overtures of peace. 

"You know. Manning, that I don't believe 
in this method of settling disputes, until every 
argument has failed," he said. " You and Avery 
are both such reasonable fellows, it is impossible 
that this quarrel should lead to the Bluff, if either 
will give over a bit." 

"Yes, you are like father," answered Manning. 
"He prates against affairs of honor, and claims 
that he never did believe in them; yet he has been 
out twice and is ready to go again on very slight 
provocation. No, I shall stand to the ground I 
have taken, and if you want to be present at the 
finish, go at once and arrange with Dodge for the 
meeting. JSTo delays, old man; to-morrow morn- 
ing, early, and on the Bluff. That is a lucky 
place for the Lewises; father came off twice with- 
out a scratch; and I need all the luck I can get, 
for Avery is a good man. He 's the pluckiest 
Yankee ever I knew." 

Howard more than half suspected that his 
friend was moved more by jealousy than by any 
other passion, and he still hoped to make peace. 
He would work through Mi-. Dodge, he thought. 

224 



Sunrise and Pistols 225 

But in this hope Howard was again to be dis- 
appointed, for Dodge was mightily swelled with 
importance. This was his first appearance in any 
capacity in a personal affair, and the three hours 
that had passed since his talk with Avery had 
been occupied with imbibing bellicose sentiments 
and rehearsing lofty speeches. In the Saunders 
library were several books on Chivalry, handed 
down from pre-revolutionary times, when the first 
of the name and family came over from England 
to the rugged estate of a youngest son. These 
books Dodge ran over hastily, reading a paragraph 
here and there, until he was charged to explosion 
with quixotic sentiments. 

It needed but the appearance of Howard at the 
library door to touch him off. 

" Well, well, my boy, come at last have you? 
Been waiting for you for more than two hours ! 
Nasty business, ain't it? Yes, yes, especially for 
you, who have to represent the oppressor. Sorry 
for you, Howard, sorry for you ; indeed I am ! 
Lewis is an oppressor, and ought to die; yes, 
su'ee, ought to die; and by thunder, he shall 
die! The villain, the villain! Horrible, yes sir, 
horrible of him to way- lay an honorable gentle- 
man in the King's high road and there insult him 
until he is forced to challenge, or flee like a 
coward. And what is it all about ? Why, for- 
sooth, Avery has stolen his lady-love! Well, 
Howard, shall we proceed to business ? What 
suggestions or demands have you to make in 
behalf of this oppressor ? " 

Howard smiled coldly during this tirade, and as 
it came to an end some minutes sooner than he 



226 In the Wake of War 



expected it would, was not quite prepared with a 
direct answer. 

' ' I have been trying to bring about peace, Mr. 
Dodge. It seems entirely unnecessary that these 
two gentlemen, both of whom are friends to you 
and me, should face each other with pistols. That 
means that one or perhaps two good friends are 
to be shot down before our eyes, when we might 
prevent it." 

"No instructions on that subject, my boy, 
sorry to say, for I would do almost anything to 
please you. No, no, your party is the oppressor, 
and if he is afraid to fight just out with it, and I 
will inform my principal, and all is oif. I never 
thought Manning Lewis was a coward; but if he 
is, just say so ! Out with it, Howard, my boy, 
and we will declare this tourney nil ! Is Lewis 
afraid?" 

"You know the Lewis blood too well to ask 
any such question seriously, Mr. Dodge. I 
worked for an hour to get to bring a message 
of peace; and failing of that, to have the thing 
delayed a day, but to no avail. Won't Captain 
Avery make some concessions ? ' ' 

" Well, I guess not; not Captain Avery! If 
he does I shall refuse to represent him. I won't 
mix with cowards. When I was up North for my 
health, I had an affair on my hands; but the other 
fellow got wind that I was from Tennessee, and he 
just naturally slunk out. Ran like a turkey! No, 
Howard, we are here to arrange the joust — but 
it's not quite a joust either," said Mr. Dodge, 
turning the pages of one of his musty old volumes, 
"no, a joust is a mock battle; it's a tilt, a real, 



Sunrise and Pistols 227 

sure-euough battle. My principal says to-morrow 
at sunrise. What say you, Howard? " 

"The hour is satisfactory to us. But can't we 
fix it up? I tell you Mr. Dodge, I despise to 
think that I must see one or perhaps two personal 
friends shot down over a petty quarrel. Let 's 
go together and see Avery right now; I can talk 
with him freely." 

"Time agreed on," said Dodge, in a business 
air. " We shall get this up pretty quickly. I 
like a hustler, Howard, in anything. Well, what 
next? What next? " And he consulted a memo- 
randum sheet in which he had a list of require- 
ments for a businesslike duel, and scratched off 
the first item with his pencil. "Now weapons 
come next. Which shall it be? Swords, guns, 
pistols, navy-revolvers, or what? Take your 
choice, Howard." 

"If this infamous business must proceed, I 
shall have to say regulation pistols," said How- 
ard doggedly, for he began to suspect that he 
would have to make overtures of peace through 
another than Dodge. 

"Good again, and satisfactory! We shall 
have no trouble, Howard," said Dodge, as he 
scratched another entry from his memorandum; 
and without looking up he called off: "Item 
three, on foot or horseback ? ' ' 

" Horses are somewhat out of vogue for such 
events I believe, Mr. Dodge." 

"Not necessarily, my boy, not necessarily! 
All a matter of agreement. But you say on 
foot and so it shall be. Item four, distance. 
What say you, Howard, to one hundred feet?" 



228 In the Wake of War 

' ' The most reasonable and peaceful suggestion 
you have made; but neither would consent to it," 
answered Howard. 

"They will have to consent to it ! We are 
fixing this matter, and if we say forty yards with 
brickbats, they must abide the decision." And 
Mr. Dodge again referred to one of his books on 
Chivalry, for proper authority in the premises. 
"These men are in our hands, Howard, and 
must fulfill our agreements or both stand before 
the world branded as arrant cowards and oppress- 
ive villains. What else is a second for? I am 
looking for proper authority, and I have it too, in 
these good old books." 

"Well, say twenty-five paces, then," said 
Howard, by way of compromise that would stop 
Dodge from reading half a volume of authorities, 
obsolete by more than two centuries. 

"Well and good," consented Mr. Dodge, lay- 
ing down the book and scratching the item of 
distance off his sheet. "Item five, surgeon." 

" We don't care for any," answered Howard. 
"If I don't make the presence of a surgeon 
unnecessary, by fixing the matter up, then we will 
take the consequences." 

"Avery don't want any, either," said Dodge. 
"And that's the only thing I object to. Now, 
let's have Doctor Anderson. What say you?" 

"1 don't care," said Howard, carelessly; he 
was still thinking of settlement. 

' ' Scratch item five, all settled ! Item six, 
audience. How many shall we invite?" 

"Nobody but principals, seconds, and the sur- 
geon, of course." 



Sunrise and Pistols 229 

"Well and good," and Dodge made another 
scratch across the paper. ' ' Item seven, place. 
Where shall it be?" 

"On the old Bluff, I reckon," said Howard, 
thoughtfully; for fixing the place, more than any 
other article, had made the event seem real to him. 

"Item eight, rounds. How many, Howard?" 

"One, only one." 

"Well and good, again." And Dodge made 
another dash at his memorandum sheet with his 
pencil. "Now, Howard, the whole thing is 
fixed, I believe, according to degenerate modern 
usage. In good old times, our ancestors had 
some twenty matters of detail to arrange. Go to 
the oppressor and report ; I will see Captain 
Avery, and we will all meet on the Bluff at sun- 
up. Wait now, and let me arrange a written 
report for my principal; this must be done in a 
businesslike manner." And he took pen and 
paper, reading aloud as he wrote, item by item, 
all the cold-blooded details. 

"Want a copy, Howard ? " he asked. 

"No, I think not, thank you; guess I can 
remember all this disgusting business. Good- 
night, Mr. Dodge." 

"Good-night, Howard. We have arranged 
what will no doubt be a celebrated duel ; may go 
into history, my boy. Lewis and Avery, duel; 
Dodge and Grayson, seconds; Anderson, M. D., 
surgeon. Beads well, don't it ? Such is history ; 
such is fame," said Mr. Dodge, as he lighted 
Howard down the hall. 

The two men prepared for the event with delib- 
eration and perfect tranquillity of spirit. Manning 



230 In the Wake of War 



had two letters written when Howard drew rein 
under his window at Fairfax, to tell him that the 
arrangement required his presence on the Bluff at 
sunrise. One was to his father and mother; the 
other to Marj Lou. 

Avery had written and signed his resignation 
from the army, to take effect on that day, July 
Ist, the day before the meeting, when Dodge 
arrived at camp and made known the terms and 
conditions. The Captain excused himself for a 
moment and went to the tent of his first lieutenant, 
whom he awoke from sound sleep. " I am going 
out gimning with some friends early in the morn- 
ing, " he said to his second officer, "and if, by 
any chance, I should be delayed beyond noon, 
please to see that this letter is posted so that it 
will reach the adjutant on the afternoon train. 
Don't post before noon, for if I get back in time 
and feel like it, I may run down to Nashville 
myself." 

And after delivering some general orders for 
camp duty in the morning, he returned to face an 
hour's bombast from Mr. Dodge. The enthusias- 
tic second discoursed learnedly on affairs of honor, 
not failing to quote authority in support of all his 
wild propositions. But the question of peace, he 
never once mentioned. 

At last, to the infinite relief of Avery, who 
had yawned several times, Mr. Dodge with- 
drew and started for home. Scarcely had he 
mounted his horse and turned down the dark 
street when Howard Grayson stepped from the 
shadow of a tree and moved quickly to the 
Captain's tent. 



Sunrise and Pistols 231 

"I can not go home without making one effort 
to bring about an understanding between you and 
Lieutenant Lewis," he said, without waiting to say 
good-evening. ' ' I have presumed on the friend- 
ship I feel for you, and that I believe you bear to 
my family to violate one of the most stringent 
rules of the Code, and to see privately the oppos- 
ing principal before the event. Can't this busi- 
ness be stopped now and here?" 

" You are certainly very good, but I don't quite 
see how, especially as your party is the aggressor, " 
answered Avery, with some indifference. ' ' This 
is no quarrel of my seeking — it came as a com- 
plete surprise — and I must either fight or run. 
I 'm too lazy to run, so I suppose, it 's fight." 

"Manning Lewis and I have been friends since 
before either of us can remember, and never had 
a quarrel to last above ten minutes," said How- 
ard. "I would shudder to see him face my 
worst enemy; but now arrangements are complete 
for him to face you, whom I have come to regard 
my good personal friend — second to Manning 
only in length of acquaintance. The truth is, 
Avery, we all feel under obligations to you." 

"Stop there, please," said Avery, good-na- 
turedly. "The Grayson family owes me nothing, 
not even good-will. The freedom of yom- house 
has brought me more pleasure than any incident 
of my life; and I am happy to have the oppor- 
tunity to say that now. I may not have a chance 
to speak of it again," he continued, with a smile. 
' ' To meet the wishes of any member of Colonel 
Grayson's family, I will sacrifice anything — save 
honor. In this emergency, it seems as if this 



232 In the Wake of War 



sacrifice alone will make peace, and I know jou 
will not ask it." 

"But can't we stop it some way? I have 
worked so faithfully with Manning, but he will 
not listen. He 's usually so reasonable, but 
to-night he is clean daft,'' said Howard, in de- 
spair, 

"Then nothing can be done, only to let the 
fools fight it out," answered Avery. "But to 
you I will say, in a confidence that does not 
extend beyond the Grayson family, that I don't 
feel satisfied with the manner in which I executed 
my last order from the War Department. I 
wanted to be fair and impartial, but I did not 
think until it was too late, that I was going to 
another extreme and was doing what might appear 
to be a boorish act." 

"We took no exceptions to that," said How- 
ard, "although some did. Manning in particular. 
You have duties to perform; and while your 
method of execution may differ from mine, that 
does not necessarily condemn it. Let me repeat 
this conversation to Manning and I will vouch for 
a complete cessation of hostilities." 

' ' Ah, no, I could have done that this evening 
when he met me in the turnpike and rallied me 
so fiercely, but I chose the present course. No, 
it is none of his business how I execute military 
orders, and I won't hold myself to answer to him. 
If I die, then the Grayson family loses a friend, 
but one who has been of little use to them, I 
regret to say.'' 

"We do not esteem our friends by the quan- 
tity or quality of their services to us," answered 



Sunrise and Pistols 233 

Howard. "The Southern people have higher 
ideas of friendship than that; although when our 
friends favor us with an expression of regard we 
appreciate it. Must I go home without accom- 
plishing anything toward a reconciliation?" 

"I fear so, Captain Grayson," said Avery, 
with a yawn. "Pray excuse me, but the hour is 
late and I am quite a regular sleeper. Just let 
things take their course, and be reconciled to 
results. But whatever the outcome, we under- 
stand each other better than we did before this 
interview. If all goes well, I shall retire from 
the army and live in Tennessee; I like most of 
your people." 

"I hope we may all live through to-morrow, 
and that you may keep your resolve to become a 
citizen here. You will be welcomed heartily. 
We have great regard for the amenities of life, 
until we get mad, or until our honor is involved. 
I wish you good-night, Captain Avery." And 
they shook hands. 

At daylight all were on the Bluff. Thanks to 
the cold-blooded method of Mr. Dodge, there 
were no revolting details to be arranged. He 
and Howard withdrew a little distance with the 
mahogany case containing Major Lewis's pistols. 
The loading began, but the sight of the cold steel 
unnerved Dodge, and his hand trembled so badly 
that he was forced to give over the job to Howard. 
The poor man who had been so fierce and loud 
the night before, could not speak a sentence — his 
knees shook, he stammered, gabbled incoherently, 
and seemed on the verge of collapse. 



234 In the Wake of War 

"Better step off the distance," said Howard, 
who noticed the embarrassment of his co-second, 
and tlioiight to relieve him. Dodge returned to 
the open space, stuck a twig into the soil, fitted 
the heel of his boot to it carefully and started off, 
counting each step loud enough to be heard two 
hundred yards away. "One, two, three, four," 
he roared and staggered on until he had counted 
thirteen, when he stepped on a rolling limb that 
upset him and lost him the count. He started 
again, roaring out the numbers, and puffing 
audibly with each step. At last, with the fourth 
essay, he had twenty-five paces marked with a 
stake at either end, and the distance was nearer 
one hundred feet than the seventy-five intended. 

By this time the sun had begun to show above 
the line of the horizon. The scene was too 
beautiful to be blurred by bloodshed; yet man is 
such a beast that he little regards the face of 
nature in the presence of his passions. The 
Bluff, a stray spur of the Cumberlands, rose sheer 
on its face more than a hundred feet above the 
blue line of the Opal. Stretching away to the 
westward for more than three miles was the fertile 
and almost level valley, green in varying shades 
as crop or blue-grass covered the soil. And, 
winding through this verdant cover at irregular 
intervals were the hedgerows of osage-orange, 
hickory, and ash, like lace-work of delicate 
shading on a rich, sombre background. All this 
was in the shadow, strong and heavy, for the rays 
of the sun were yet horizontal. 

Beyond rose the hills that bounded this Eden 
on the west, like a great wall decked with green 



Sunrise and Pistols 235 

and yellow; the drought had made perceptible 
inroads on the verdure of the higher lands. 
Here the sun first spread his fiery sheen, and 
seemed to gild tree, rock, and sloping field with 
all his morning splendor. To the east, the Bluff 
dropped off to the turnpike, a quarter of a mile 
away, and was covered with a dense forest of 
oaks, so that the first sight of breaking day was 
reflected back from the hills on the west. 

While Howard was loading the weapons and 
Mr. Dodge was puffing and roaring with his tan- 
gling legs and count. Manning stood leaning 
against a tree, contemplating the magnificent view 
of green and gold; and Avery, fifty yards away, 
was unconsciously demonstrating his practical 
nature by throwing bits of rock into the calm sur- 
face of the stream below. ' ' This would make 
a great picnic ground," he said carelessly to 
Dodge; and when that worthy puffed doum near 
Manning, he, in turn, remarked: "How beautiful 
this view to the west. I never knew of it 
before, or this would not be my first visit to the 
Bluff at sunrise." The answer to Avery was : 
"One," puff, "two," puff, "three," puff; to 
Manning it was: "Twenty-three," puff, "twenty- 
four," puff", "twenty-five," puff. 

The weapons were loaded, and all preliminaries 
were arranged. Before taking his place Avery 
said to Dodge: "Now if this thing goes badly 
for me, please say to Lieutenant Lewis that I 
have resigned my commission and am no longer 
an officer in the Federal army. But for that he 
would be liable to court-martial, and to be shot 
for having fired on an officer." 



236 In the Wake of War 

"Wait, wait," cried Dodge, when Avery was 
about half through, "let me write that down; my 
memory is awfully bad." He had found his 
voice, although it was somewhat shaky. 

" Never mind the writing, better to forget than 
go to so much trouble. I am under great obli- 
gations to you, Mr. Dodge, for what you have 
done for me in this matter; and if you want to 
make the obligation complete, please do not speak 
of what has already occurred, or what may occur 
during the next few minutes — at least of my part 
in it. Above all, don't brag of my nerve; that 
is my last request before toeing the scratch." 
Dodge could not answer — he only gulped. 

The principals were placed. Dodge leaned 
against a tree for support. Doctor Anderson 
started the count, "One," but was interrupted 

by the cry: "Help, help! Doc , " and Dodge 

fell in a heap at the foot of the sheltering tree. 

" Stand your ground; go ahead with the count; 
I don't care for him," roared Avery. 

The Doctor continued: "Two, three." 

There was one report, but there were two puffs 
of blue smoke; the pistol dropped from Manning 
Lewis's hand. Howard and the Doctor ran to 
his support, but he put them off, saying: "It's 
nothing; only a scratch on the arm. Load for 
another round." 

Avery turned on his heel, and tossed his 
weapon to one side. " Load if you want to; I '11 
stay for the finish," he said, savagely. 

But Howard insisted that only one shot was 
provided for by the terms of the event. 

All hands now turned in to revive Dodge, 



Sunrise and Pistols 237 



which proved no hard task; for, after he had lain 
a few minutes with his head down hill, he 
responded to a heroic dose from the Doctor's 
brandy flask, and gave a few groans and other 
signs of recovery. 

The situation had grown suddenly embarrass- 
ing, by reason of the general interest in Dodge; 
both principals seemed for the moment to have 
forgotten their quarrel. Speculation as to what 
the next move in the drama would have been, 
(for a crisis of some kind was imminent, since all 
were on the verge of laughter over the ludicrous 
spectacle made by Mr. Dodge), was cut short by 
a distant ' ' Hello, ' ' from the direction of the turn- 
pike. Howard and Manning looked at each 
other, and the latter almost gasped, " Father ! " 

The first shout was followed by another, then 
a third, nearer and more distinct; and in the 
space of a minute's time the sound of the hoof- 
beats of a horse came up through the dense for- 
est. Doctor Anderson had resumed the work of 
bandaging Manning's wounded arm; Howard was 
helping Avery to remove his coat, and Dodge was 
on the ground, a groaning, rolling mass, when 
Major Lewis, mounted on an old clay-bank mule, 
rounded the point of a spur in the Bluff and 
charged straight into the party. But the precipi- 
tancy of the Major's entry was no fair measure 
of his mental state. He greeted them: "Good- 
morning, gentlemen," with perfect composure, 
dismounted leisurely, surveyed the scene with the 
eye of a connoisseur, and then said: — 

' ' What does all this mean ? ' ' 

There was no answer. 



238 In the Wake of War 

' ' I seem to have surprised a little party of 
some sort. You must excuse me for appearing 
here without a formal invitation — it is purely 
accidental, I assure you alL" 

"A little misunderstanding, Major Lewis, but 
all is over now, I reckon," said Howard, who 
was first to find speech. 

"All over with Dodge, I should say," re- 
marked the Major, coolly. " But what kind of a 
performance was it ! Manning bandaged. Cap- 
tain Avery bleeding, and Dodge scared to death! 
This must have been a three-cornered fight, the 
like of which I never heard, outside of Marryat's 
' Midshipman Easy. ' If you will pardon the 
intrusion of my coming here unbidden, I will 
trespass again to ask an explanation. What 
means this business, Manning?" 

For all the good-nature of his remarks, there 
was a quality of anxiety and an inflection of com- 
mand in the Major's voice. Manning answered 
as indifferently as possible: "Captain Avery and 
I had a misunderstanding, and have settled it; 
Dodge fainted on the sound of Doctor Anderson's 
voice." 

"Never mind about this booby," said the 
Major, with a glance at Dodge. ' ' You and Cap- 
tain Avery had a misunderstanding? Well, I 
am damned! Why didn't you tell me ? If you 
were not twenty-four years old I would rawhide 
you right here. Don't you know that Captain 
Avery is my personal friend ? That we are all 
under a thousand obligations to him ? No, I 
reckon you didn't know it," Then turning to 
Avery, he continued: "Captain, allow me to 



Sunrise and Pistols 239 

apologize for the impetuosity of niy family. The 
boy did not know how highly I esteem you, or 
your morning's nap never would have been dis- 
turbed for this performance. I don't know where 
the boy gets this rash temper — from his mother's 
family, I reckon ! ' ' There was a peculiar twinkle 
in the Major's eye as he made this explanation. 
"Allow me, Captain Avery, to introduce to you 
my son, Manning — Lieutenant Manning Lewis. 
Manning, my son, this is Captain Avery, my 
esteemed personal friend." And the young men 
gave each to the other his left hand, shook awk- 
wardly, and looked foolish. 

" Did he stand his ground, Captain? " asked 
the Major. 

' ' Your son is a gentleman, and as brave as I 
ever knew," answered Avery. 

"Then I forgive his rashness. Nothing seri- 
ous about these scratches, Doctor ? ' ' 

"No, no. Major! A slight rupture of the 
voluntary muscle, flexor carpi ulnaris; but hap- 
pily, the radius and ulna escaped fracture. Cap- 
tain Avery sustained little more than a contusion, 
cut through the epidermis a trifle; but it was a 
close call for the right latissimus dorsi." The 
Doctor was of the old school and revelled in 
Latin. 

"Now for a little English, Doctor. Ai-e 
both of them game? " asked the Major, entering 
into the spirit of the occasion. 

"To the core, Major. Never saw a better 
exhibition, and this is not my first visit to the 
Bluff at sunrise," answered the Doctor. He had 
been there twice with the Major. 



240 In the Wake of War 

"Then all else is forgiven." 

"I can not equal your magnanimity, Major 
Lewis; but I may have done wrong in the per- 
emptory manner in which I executed the last 
orders of the War Department. I intended no 
wrong, surely, but I gave offense," said Avery. 

"I don't believe you were wrong. Captain; 
1 'm damned if I do. My friends never do 
wrong," said the Major. 

By this time Mr. Dodge had recovered, and 
was able to sit upright. He rubbed his eyes, 
looked wildly about, and asked: " What is the 
meaning of all this ? Where am I ? When did 
you get in. Major ? Did I have a spell ? Yes, 
yes, one of those old spells again! Before I went 
up North for my health, I had several of them. 
This is the worst climate on earth; I must leave 
it, or die of biliousness." 

"Try a little more brandy, Mr. Dodge," said 
the Doctor. 

" Yes, yes, a little brandy is good for these 
spells. It was a glorious tilt. Major; you ought to 
have come earlier. Great event; historical, sure! 
Avery and Lewis, principals; Dodge and Grayson, 
seconds ; Anderson, M. D., surgeon. It 's well 
this spell did n t take me earlier; 'twould have 
spoiled history. I 'm all right now; yes, siree, 
all right now ! " 

According to arrangements made before the 
event, Howard and Manning went from the Bluff 
to the Plain of Tempe, for a few days' fishing. 
Should there be any legal consequences, this 
seclusion placed them where they could meet or 
escape them, as occasion might dictate. Pleas, 



Sunrise and Pistols 241 

who was the only person in the world, except 
those actually present, that knew of the duel, had 
been charged with the double duty of watching 
for danger and of communicating information to 
the young gentlemen. 

Avery rode back to camp, called at the tent of 
the lieutenant, recovered and destroyed his resig- 
nation. His mind had changed. For some few 
days he complained of indisposition, had an 
occasional visit from Doctor Anderson, and 
lounged about his tent. He could not ride on 
horseback, for while his wound was slight, the 
motion of the exercise produced great pain. 



XX 

Genius Is Recognized 

THE 21st day of July, eighteen hundred and 
sixty-five, was a proud day for the State Gov- 
ernment in Tennessee. For three years it had led 
a most precarious and contradictory existence. In 
effect, it had maintained a bold and aggressive 
front, the terror of crippled and aged men, of 
women and children whose protectors were in the 
Confederate army — of all helpless and defense- 
less persons. In fact, a more servile, fawning, 
favor-seeking combination of knaves never was 
made to do unholy traffic in political spoils and 
tawdry honors. While, at home, it levied unwar- 
ranted taxes, evicted women and children from 
ancestral homes for the non-payment of these 
impossible burdens, threatened, browbeat, and 
even incarcerated honorable citizens for imaginary 
and made-up offense, intimidated and terrorized 
as a profession, it crawled and cringed before 
Congress and the Executive of the Nation. What 
it wanted was recognition; and to secure recogni- 
tion it pleaded its odious record of three years of 
anarchy, and pledged itself to execute as much 
more and as detestable infamy as should meet the 
requirements of political necessity in Tennessee. 
And through all these four gloomy years of 
civil war, with their changing fortunes of success 
and disaster, the National Government had 
grasped at every straw that promised support. It 

242 



Genius Is Recognized 24-3 

had made use of a thousand "scape-goats;" it 
needed now, a thousand each day. Yet, strange 
to relate, the National party had passed the ' ' Ten 
Per Cent Government" of Tennessee, for all its 
promises of loyalty, claim to power and desire to 
play the ' ' scape-goat, ' ' without one poor look of 
recognition. 

The reason for all this cold-hearted treatment 
can be found only in the infamous record of the 
State Government. It was too foul for the tainted 
atmosphere of Washington! Besides, at the head 
of National aflfairs had been an honest man, who 
fought the encroachments of political filth with 
more energy than he fought the open foe on the 
battlefield. 

But now Lincoln, the honorable man, the 
patriot, was dead; the horde of place-hunters 
were all alive. It is one of the absurdities of 
Fate, that history has never been called upon to 
record the time when and the place where one of 
these persistent office-seeking worthies, however 
deserving of such an end, became a target for the 
bullet of the maniac or the monster. 

Some persons have been ungenerous enough to 
charge that the radical faction of the then domi- 
nant party was jealous of the superior genius of 
the "Ten Per-Centers " for the invention of 
infamy, and their capacity for the shameless exe- 
cution of it; but the great majority incline to the 
more magnanimous view: that the National party 
chose to get the benefits of all this dirty work 
without any direct accountability for, or associa- 
tion with, those who so cheerfully did it. With- 
out further digression to discuss the weighty 



244 In the Wake of War 

problem of scoundrelism in State and National 
politics, of how the blending, by experienced 
hands, of the different grades and shades of ras- 
cality tends to ultimate virtue and the good of the 
masses, it may be said without fear of contradic- 
tion, or danger of inciting argument, that the 
reward of genius, even the genius for villainy, 
is recognition. 

So, after all these years of administering con- 
sternation, and receiving disappointment, the 
tardy reward was at hand! On this good day and 
year of grace, the genius that manipulated the 
affairs of the State secured from Congress the 
recognition for which the ' ' Ten Per Cent Govern- 
ment ' ' had so ardently hoped, so cheerfully 
slaved and so zealously prostituted itself. It was 
a weakly thing, after all, this National avowal; 
but it was, as one of them sagely remarked, 
" a start-er." And these statesmen of local fame 
were more responsive to encouragement than to 
rebuffs. 

The State Administration now thought itself on 
a substantial footing. It was inferentially a part of 
the Federal Compact, and the persons high in its 
organization set themselves to reduce bushwhack- 
ing to a system. They advanced from profes- 
sional to scientific methods. To their genius for 
creating outrageous laws and their audacity in 
administering them, they added systematic and 
scientific modes of punishment. 

With the introduction of a degree of account- 
ability to a superior power, one would have 
expected greater caution in their operations; but 
not so. There were old reckonings imsatisfied; 



Genius Is Recognized 245 

the eternal grudge that low life bears to decency 
was still alive and rankling. And with the per- 
sons forming and supporting this State Govern- 
ment no amount of revenge seemed to sate their 
consuming greed for vengeance. 

Accordingly, old matters, many outlawed, some 
already settled in the courts, were revived; new 
ones were started with wonderful alacrity. They 
seemed to regard neither the statute of limitations, 
nor the ancient law, Res adjudicata. This was 
especially true at Kosciusko, where the County 
Guards had lost much valuable time through the 
equitable interference of Captain Avery. 

One of the first cases they attempted to revive 
was that against Howard Grayson and Manning 
Lewis — the charge of wearing Rebel uniforms. 
But through the influence of Anton Nelson this 
had been dismissed on order of the Governor, and 
the Guards stood in awe of that dignitary. The 
ingenious brain of Jonas Smith met the exigency. 
He remembered that when the Guards were carry- 
ing off these young gentlemen for the sham trial 
before Squire Witan, both had made remarks 
uncomplimentary to the State Administration, 
and somewhat questioned the democracy of a 
government that represented about ten per cent of 
the people over whom it exercised power. To 
question the acts of the State Government was a 
crime; to criticise it was treason before the law. 
Without delay, Smith lodged complaint with his 
honor, N. Lex Witan, and a warrant was issued 
for the apprehension of the young men. But 
neither Howard nor Manning had been seen for 
three weeks, and Major Lewis seemed utterly 



246 In the Wake of War 

ignorant of the whereabouts of his son. Both 
were known to be away from home. Before it 
should be known outside official circles that the 
warrant was issued, the County Guards decided 
to locate its prisoners, and charge down on them 
with force sufficient to effect their capture. And 
now mark the fine hand of the Reverend Felix 
Grayson ! He suddenly appeared at Elmington 
and disclosed a friendly mission to Miss Mary Lou. 

" But Howard is not at home," she said. 

"Then get word to him at once," said Felix. 
"These fellows will put them in jail, and Mr. 
Nelson is not here to sign the bail-bond. Perhaps 
they will not admit the boys to bond ! Can't tell 
what they will do! I would sign a bond for them, 
only as a Federal officer I am not permitted to do 
so. You see these fellows now have nominal 
backing from the National Government, and 
there is no telling what they will do. The boys 
must know of this and then make a visit into 
another State. ' ' 

"They will not run. You know them too well 
for that; but they ought to know," she said, 
thoughtfully. 

"They must know. I would go, only it never 
woukl do for me to mix with these State affairs. 
They will watch me, and perhaps I shall have to 
answer for this visit. They already suspect me 
of favoring brother Rodeny; but I can't help my 
interest in him, and you." 

"You are very kind, and I am sure father ap- 
preciates your efforts. But Pleas has no suitable 
horse, ' ' said Mary Lou. 

" Get Captain Avery's horse. He will gladly 



Genius Is Recognized 247 



lend it to you. I will carry a note to him. He 
is not riding now, for some reason, as you know." 

"But would I not compromise Captain Avery 
by having his horse used for such a purpose?" 
she asked, with some disappointment. 

"Not at all. Who is to know where the horse 
goes ? You have not told me where Howard is. 
Write your note, quickly," he persisted. 

But Mary Lou was not to be hurried. She took 
her time to consider the matter carefully, and then 
wrote this note : — 

*' Dear Captain Avery: 

I must have a good horse for this afternoon and 
evening. Will you kindly lend me Pomp? You can 
not know the necessity that prompts this request. 
Rev. Mr. Grayson, who consents to carry this note, 
has assured me that I am right in asking. He knows 
the circumstances. 

Sincerely, 

Mary Lou Grayson. 

P. S. Please send side-saddle by Pleas." 

Then the Reverend Felix took Pleas in his 
carriage and drove him to camp. Pleas delivered 
the note into the hand of the Captain, who read it 
and said: " Her wishes don't have to be vouched 
for by that preacher. Does she want two saddles. 
Pleas?" 

' ' I doan know, suh. ' ' 

"Well, take both, to be safe. Eide mine and 
carry Miss Bosworth's; and get started pretty 
quickly, ' ' said Avery. 

While Pleas was after the Captain's horse, 
Mary Lou went over to Saunders' Lodge and 
borrowed the best and fastest horse Mr. Dodge 
had in his stable. She wanted it for Pleas, she 



248 In the Wake of War 



said. When Uncle Sam led Dodge's horse, a 
large, strong black, almost worthy of all his 
master's praise, into the yard at Elmington, Pleas 
had arrived with Pomp and the two saddles. 

"Change the saddles quickly, Pleas; you and I 
are going for a long ride. Better get a snack to 
eat; we shall not stop until after night." 

Pleas' 8 astonishment lasted but a second. He 
broke into a broad grin. 

"I gets a snack, Miss Mary Lou. I gets de 
snack de League gives me." And he chuckled 
audibly. In a moment he returned, and patting 
his bulging pocket, in which was the revolver 
given him by the Union League, said: "Dare's 
snack 'nuf fo' dis ride. Miss Mary Lou." 

Uncle Sam waited on the front porch with a 
note for Colonel Grayson, and Mary Lou, with 
her faithful servant, rode off. As they went out 
of the park into the turnpike, neither Mary Lou 
nor her black protector saw two figures in old 
Federal uniforms hidden in a clump of trees that 
commanded a view of the road. Those two 
horsemen, sneaking in the brush, represented the 
State Government of Tennessee. After Mary 
Lou and Pleas had gone over the first hill to the 
north, the horsemen came from hiding. One rode 
south as swiftly as his horse could carry him, as 
if to give an alarm; the other rode north and took 
up the trail of the two horses that had left 
Elmington. 



XXI 

Which Treats of Meeting and Parting 

THE usual route from Elmington to the Plain 
of Tempe lay tlirough Kosciusko; but, on the 
suggestion of Pleas, Mary Lou took a longer 
course, which led off to the north for a mile and 
then to the south-west. Both roads met at the 
foot-hills, and there entered the main thoroughfare 
of that section, the old Military Koad, laid out by 
General Jackson after the close of the war of 
1812. In the opinion of Pleas, there was to be 
a race with Jonas Smith and posse, to see who 
first should reach this junction, and who first 
should enter the Military Road. He was satisfied 
that Felix Grayson, for all his claims of friend- 
ship, would report to the officers his conversation 
of the morning, together with his inference that 
the young gentlemen were at the Plain. But the 
negro was too considerate to alarm his young 
mistress with this suspicion. 

Pleas knew that his young master and Mannmg 
Lewis were expected to return that very night, 
and unless intercepted at the junction, they would 
in all probability come by the shorter route. 
This he gave to Mary Lou as a reasonable excuse 
for making all possible haste until they should 
reach the foot-hills. 

It was a beautiful afternoon in the full summer. 
The sun blazed down with the withering splendor 
of the hottest hour of a mid-summer day. The 

249 



250 In the Wake of War 

dusty highway was deserted. The whites were 
at home with their work of rebuilding, the blacks 
were lounging about the Freedraen's Bureau. 

Mary Lou led off at a smart canter. The Cap- 
tain's horse was full of spirit from near a month 
of idleness. But before they had gone far at this 
pace, Pleas called out: "Isn't yo' ridin' toll- 
able peart, Miss Mary Lou? " 

"Our time is short, Pleas; we must reach our 
destination before dark, if possible." 

"If yo' goin' to de Plain, min' yo' starts asy. 
Pleas gits yo' dar, chile. Go asy to de ole Brick 
Stan'; dar we lets de bosses drink a swaller of 
water, an' den we rides. Yo' hears old Pleas, 
Miss Mary Lou! " 

And she listened to his advice, for the two 
miles to the old brick tavern were covered at an 
easy gait. Here he gave each horse little more 
than a swallow of water, and they pushed on. 

For the next few miles Pleas kept admonishing, 
"asy," "asy;" not until the evening sun began 
to throw shadows across the pike did he cease to 
caution Mary Lou against the killing pace her 
impatience prompted her to set. 

The Military Road was now not more than 
three miles distant; the sun was yet half an hour 
above the horizon; and, half-a-mile ahead, just 
round a turn in the pike, stood an old wayside 
inn. 

"Let out'n de Yankee boss, Miss Mary Lou; 
we water at de ole stan'," he said. And they 
made that half-a-mile as if riding for a record. 
After the horses had been given their small allow- 
ance of drink, Pleas said: " Dat hoss too sma't 



Which Treats of Meeting and Parting 251 

fo' a Yankee. Mars Howard ought t'hev him." 
Then putting his hand into his pocket he contin- 
ued, quickly: ""'Scuse me a minute, Miss Mary 
Lou; I drap some leetle tricks outn my snack." 
And he ran back to the turn in the road, to all 
appearances looking for something in the dust. 

But while he seemed intent on the ground, his 
eye took in the long stretch of turnpike over 
which they had just ridden. As he came in full 
view of this he saw, half-a-mile back, a batch of 
horsemen, riding at full speed. His form was 
bent, and he appeared to be looking in the dust. 
They turned into an old field grov/n to sassafras 
bushes, high enough to hide horse and man. He 
counted; there were seven. 

" Yo' hides, ole Jonas Smith, if yo' wants to. 
We-all ken hide, too," he muttered to himself, 
still hunting about in the dusty pike. 

They thought they were not seen, but they little 
knew the subtlety of that honest negro. 

Pleas returned leisurely to where his young 
mistress awaited him, mounted his horse, and 
took his place a length behind her: " Asy to de 
nex' tu'n. Miss Mary Lou," were his orders. 
They were obeyed with perfect confidence. It 
was a straight, level stretch, down a narrow val- 
ley, every foot of the road visible from the turn 
they had just now passed. The rays of the set- 
ting sun shot clean over, and left them in the 
shadow of a great ridge. The air was fresh and 
cool with the crispness of drought. The wood, 
which came down to the wayside, gave forth its 
evening fragrance. The chirp of the katydid, the 
vespers of a belated song-bird, and the hoof-beats 



252 In the Wake of War 



of their horses, were the only sounds. Not a 
human being was in sight; yet this delicate girl 
rode confidently on, at a walk, a trot, or a gallop, 
as Pleas advised. She never once looked back. 
Such exhibitions of perfect confidence have not 
been seen since the old-time negro passed out 
of life, into history. 

At the turn in the road Pleas stole a glance 
over his shoulder and almost shouted, "Faster." 
Pomp responded to a looser rein and set the pace 
at a keen canter. For two miles they rode a 
rattling gait through the undulating, winding 
course, as the pike turned in and out around the 
base of the hills. Pleas's watchful eye was on 
the road, and his admonitions, "asy, " "faster," 
"keerful, chile," came with almost every breath. 
The ride was desperate. Mary Lou did not realize 
that it had every element of a crisis, so intent was 
her purpose to reach the Plain. The horses, so 
carefully warmed under Pleas's direction, took the 
pace from brute sympathy. No whip was drawn ; 
no word of encouragement was spoken. On, on 
they flew, until they reached the summit of a 
ridge, beyond which the two pikes joined. 

To their left was a high, round hill, that stood 
between the two turnpikes, and rose a hundred 
feet above them. Straight ahead, to the south- 
west, across several intervening valleys and low 
hills, stood out the main dividing ridge that sepa- 
rated the waters of the Opal from those of the 
Swan River. Where the old Military Road 
crossed this divide, the timber had long ago been 
cut off, marking the location for one of those old 
taverns, or "stands," as they were called half a 



Which Treats of Meeting and Parting 253 

century ago, with its truck-garden and pasture 
fields. This bleak old head now showed a clean, 
bald outline against the blazing gold of the sun- 
set sky. And, as they scanned the streak of yel- 
low clay that marked the road as it wound through 
the forest on the ridge-side until it was lost on 
the barren summit, two horsemen came into view, 
silhouetted against the burning background. Mary 
Lou gave a cry of delight, and waved her hand- 
kerchief. 

"Mars Howard and Mister Mannin'," shouted 
Pleas. "Straight fo'd," he continued, quickly. 
"I rides roun' de hill to urr pike." And he 
swung his horse into a cow-path that connected 
the two roads, Mary Lou dashed on at the top 
of Pomp's speed, to reach her brother and friend. 
She caught not another glimpse of them, for the 
road wound out and in, up and down, through the 
dense forest, already coming dark. At the base 
of the ridge she met them. 

Pleas followed the path through the under- 
brush, and came to the Kosciusko road. He ex- 
amined closely the dust, and saw that no horsemen 
had gone west during the evening. He then 
knew that the only expedition sent after the young 
gentlemen had followed him and Miss Mary Lou, 
and this posse they had left a mile behind by his 
ruse at the old tavern. Then riding into a dense 
tangle of bushes he threw off the saddle and tied 
his horse to a swinging limb. 

" Naow res' yo'se'f. Mister Dodge," he 
muttered, as he hurried down to where the two 
roads joined and entered the old thoroughfare. 
This point was well down the ridge, in a sharp 



254 In the Wake of War 

valley, the sides of which were covered with trees 
and undergrowth. He hid in the brush to await 
the enemy. 

The sound of horses' hoofs warned him that the 
officers were approaching. He had no time to 
reconsider his plan. He only could think that his 
young master was less than half-a-mile away, that 
he could not now escape, and that humiliation, 
and perhaps insult, awaited his young mistress. 
He drew from his pocket the old revolver, and 
examined it carefully. It looked like an old and 
tried friend, although he never had shot it. 

Miss Mary Lou quickly told her errand. 

"And did you come alone, Little Sister?" 
asked Howard. 

" No, Pleas stopped back at the forks to look 
for something or somebody," she answered. 

"Well, Manning, shall we go home and face 
the music ? ' ' 

"Surely! The bravery of Miss Mary Lou 
ought to give us courage to face the Devil, or all 
the devils in Kosciusko. I always knew this of 
Miss Mary Lou," answered Manning. 

"Courage! She's the sweetest and bravest 
little sister in all the world," and Howard kissed 
again the white forehead and pressed her to his 
bosom. " Not another like her, Manning; God 
bless her." 

" Hush, Howard, and talk about safety. You- 
all must go away. Think of the disadvantage 
— think of their power and spite! They bear us 
a terrible grudge, and Uncle Felix says they have 
more power, now. Go to our uncle's in Arkansas 
until father has time to fix this up." 



Which Treats of Meeting and Parting 255 

"No, Little Sister, not while you set us such 
an example," said Howard. 

"Do hush about example; turn around right 
now and go ' ' 

But she did not finish the remonstrance; at that 
instant the sharp, loud report of a pistol rang out 
from down the road, followed quickly by a second, 
louder than the first; then unearthly yells, and a 
dozen shots — almost like a volley. 

"Pleas! " gasped all in unison. 

"Yes, it's Pleas. Go to him, Howard. Go 
Manning, I can mount alone," cried Mary Lou. 

And the two young men were off in a trice, 
drawing from holsters the long duelling pistols 
that belonged in Major Lewis's mahogany case. 
Mary Lou followed closely, in spite of the appeals 
of Howard. 

"Poor old Pleas! Faster, Howard, faster," 
she kept calling, forgetting, in her impatience, 
that Howard's horse was a war relic. 

When they reached the forks of the road, there 
stood Pleas in the twilight, grinning over the body 
of a man in the dust. Two horses were in the 
throes of death. 

"Jonas Smith!" cried Manning. 

" Yas, Jonas Smith," echoed Pleas, laconically. 
"I tole yo', Jonas Smith, yo' git hu't, yo' keep 
pesterin' we-all. He hu't mighty bad. Mars 
Howard." And Pleas turned the prostrate form 
over on its back. 

" You 've killed him. Pleas!" cried Manning, 
as he felt for the pulse of the wounded man. 

" Naw, I isn't kilt him," said Pleas, promptly. 
"I shot his boss; I nerr kilt him." 



256 In the Wake of War 



" How did it happen, boy ! " asked Howard. 

*'Dey ridin' down on yo'-all, an' I knowed dey 
'rest yo', an' mebbe insult Miss Mary Lou. 
Dey won' now; Jonas Smith kilt, de res' runned 
'way. I shot de bosses, Mars Howard, not Jonas 
Smith. I 'd kilt err boss dey rid 'fo' dey 'rest yo', 
Mars Howard." 

"Who shot him, then?" asked Howard, im- 
patiently. 

" I doan know. Mars Howard; Pleas did n't," 
he answered, hurt that his word should be ques- 
tioned, even in the face of such convicting cir- 
cumstances. 

" Pleas shall go with you, Howard. I can ride 
home alone," said Mary Lou. 

"Never!" cried Howard, quickly. "Pleas 
must go; Manning and I will go home with you." 

' ' Whar Pleas go at ? " asked the negro. 

"You must go to some place of safety until 
this is cleared up. They would hang you on 
sight." 

" But these officers of the law are the friends of 
the negro! " said Manning, with a touch of sar- 
casm. 

"Yes, we know all about that," answered 
Howard. " We will take no chances with their 
friendship." Then turning to Pleas, he contin- 
ued: "Pleas, you must ride for your life. Go to 
our people in Arkansas; you know the way. Stay 
there until you hear from us. Have you any 
money, Manning?" 

" Not very much, but Pleas shall have every 
cent there is in the party." 

" I doan wan' to go! " persisted Pleas. "Doan 



Which Treats of Meeting and Parting 257 

make me go, please, Mars Howard. Yo' an' 
Mister Mannin' go, an' lemme carry Miss Mary 
Lou home. Pleas carry de chile home so 
keerf ul ! ' ' 

"No, Pleas, you would be hanged," said 
Howard. 

"I doan keer; lemme go home, an' yo' an' 
Mister Mannin' run 'way." 

"No, Pleas," said Howard, firmly. 

"Pleas ain' no murder'; he doan hev no call 
to run 'way." And the negro went down on his 
knees, begging and crying like a child. 

There were others in the little party who wept; 
and when Howard had raised the black man to 
his feet, and had embraced him many times, he 
could speak but one word: "Go!" 



iT 



XXII 

In Which History Is Made 

THE procession that moved from the forks of 
the road a few minutes after Pleas had disap- 
peared in the darkness was not a cheerful nor 
a hopeful one. They knew not to what they 
were returning. The least they could expect was 
a cell in the dingy old jail; perhaps it was to 
meet a mob. 

At first they had reckoned that their presence 
near the scene of the ambuscade would not be 
known, that Pleas alone would be charged with 
the crime. This was Howard's motive for ban- 
ishing the negro. But on further consideration, 
they decided that they would have to answer for 
the killing. 

As they started, Mary Lou asked: " What shall 
you do with the body ? " 

' ' It seems to be resting very comfortably 
where it is," answered Howard. 

" Can not you carry it to Kosciusko? It seems 
brutal to leave the body of any human being in 
the dust like that." 

"We've seen the bodies of more than ten 
thousand brave men left on one field. No, Little 
Sister, we can't bother with that scoundrel. We 
must get you home." 

Twilight had deepened into darkness; the heav- 
ens had turned from gray to night-blue; and, far 
away through the dusk of the low-hanging vault, 

258 



In Which History Is Made 259 

the evening star bad flashed its light. In the 
forest there was a perfect hush, which, after the 
bustle and pipe of its countless day-sounds, 
seemed oppressive. The darkness, the quiet of 
the wood, the reaction from her wild ride with its 
unexpected and tragic end, made a serious assault 
on the impressionable nature of Mary Lou. She 
rode in moody silence. Manning tried to throw 
oS the spell by asking after the events of the 
afternoon, but she answered not a word. He 
then became thoughtful and speechless. Howard 
was calculating the probabilities of carrying his 
sister home without interruption, and was serious 
and mute. The desolate hoot of the owl, the 
threatening shriek of the night-hawk, and the 
plaintive whistle of the whippoorwill, alone 
broke the stillness. 

When Howard was preparing to mount for 
this dreary ride, he stumbled over some object in 
the road, which on examination proved to be an 
old army musket. He struck a match; it had 
been discharged. Something impelled him to 
carry it. 

Near midnight, as they approached Kosciusko, 
they saw a great hubbub ahead — more than 
a dozen horsemen with lanterns. They thought 
the hour of reckoning had come; but the whole 
party turned into a narrow dirt road that made 
a short cut from the Kosciusko pike to the one 
over which Mary Lou and Pleas had travelled diu*- 
ing the afternoon. Evidently it was a rescuing 
party, sent out to meet and slaughter the ambus- 
cade. 

Howard watched the bobbing lights until the 



260 In the Wake of War 

last had gone, and calling to Manning, said: 
"We shall get into Kosciusko unmolested." He 
thought, furthermore, that with good luck to 
favor, thej might carry Mary Lou home before 
thej should be taken into custody. And this was 
their fortune; for when they reached the city, its 
streets were deserted, and they rode to Elmington 
as fast as their horses could go. Several prob- 
lems now confronted them, and Manning went on 
home to bring Major Lewis to an early consul- 
tation. 

Not the easiest matter to dispose of was Captain 
Avery's horse — how it could be returned without 
advertising to the local authorities that it had 
been ridden by Miss Mary Lou, and that, in all 
probability, it was at or near the scene of the 
ambush. This had been the source of great anxi- 
ety to her, and rose in her thoughts and speech 
above the danger to which her brother and friend 
were exposed. For she had not then consid- 
ered the unhappy chain of circumstances that 
bound them; nor did she know the weak links in 
that chain, that, with a fair hearing, might clear 
them of all suspicion. She only knew that in a 
moment of pressure she had been induced to ask 
a friendly favor of the Captain, and that by an 
unfortunate turn in affairs her act might now 
compromise his official integrity. 

This constituted the main topic at the early 
morning council at Elmington, and as time 
pressed, it was decided that Colonel Grayson 
should ride Pomp back to caniip and deliver him 
up as quietly as possible to Captain Avery. All 
knew that excitement would run high in Kosci- 



In Which History Is Made 261 

usko; that there was great danger to Manning 
and Howard from mob violence, unless time could 
be gained in which the unreasonable tales that 
were certain to be told by the survivors of the 
ambush, could be discredited. No one suggested 
flight. They should stay quietly at Elmington, 
await the course of events, and meet difficulties as 
they presented themselves. 

Colonel Grayson only delayed starting with the 
horse to hear again the story of the night' s adven- 
ture — this time from Manning. He wanted to 
be well fortified with facts before meeting the 
officers. 

When he arrived in Kosciusko, there was great 
commotion in the streets. Groups of negroes were 
talking on every corner; members of the County 
Guards were riding madly about, large with au- 
thority, but small with knowledge of what to do; 
the troops were in line awaiting orders. In the 
confusion none seemed to notice him, and he rode 
into camp, where Avery sat equipped for action, 
as if expecting a call to preserve the peace. 

"I wish you good-morning. Captain Avery. 
Allow me to return your horse with my sincerest 
gratitude for your kindness in lending him. I 
fear it may prove mistaken kindness, but we 
appreciate the act, nevertheless. When my daugh- 
ter asked the unusual favor, she could not antici- 
pate the horrible combination of circumstances 
that has overwhelmed us. As it was, she had 
some apprehensions — she is afraid to do any- 
thing in these times of conspiracies and intrigues 
— and would not have made the request if she 
had consulted me. She is prostrated with the 



262 In the Wake of War 

fear that her act, innocent as it was in purpose, 
may bring you into official censure." 

"Tell her to have no fear for me," Avery 
answered, with perfect unconcern, " Take Pomp 
and ride to her at once and make her easy on my 
account. She shielded me fully in her note asking 
for the horse — your brother told her to do it." 

"So she told me, although I do not plead that 
in her behalf," said Colonel Grayson. 

"But I do. And more, I hunted him out 
early this morning, with a witness, and he did not 
dare to deny it. He is silenced. He did what 
he did on request of County officers. It was 
a part of a well-planned conspiracy, although the 
original scheme failed in the execution. Tliey 
were after my official scalp; that was a part of the 
scheme. But affairs have so changed in one night 
that they are all scampering to save themselves. 
They undertook too much for one time. They 
ought to have left me out of their plans; that 
made their schemes top-heavy. If only the 
young men had not shot Jonas Smith, then there 
would have been no trouble." 

"But they did not tire a shot; Howard, Man- 
ning and my daughter all declare it," answered the 
Colonel. "They heard the shots and came along 
to find Jonas Smith dead, and two horses dying 
in the road." 

"They did not ambush Smith's posse? Well, 
1 swear!" exclaimed Avery. "Another wheel 
within a wheel. These fellows will kill one 
another all off, yet. I wish I had known that 
sooner. But your son and Lewis will have to 
answer the chai'ge." 



In Which History Is Made 263 

"I expect nothing else, and can only ask for 
a fair hearing." 

"Too much, I fear, when there are so many 
fellows trying to save themselves. But I will see 
that they don't organize and carry out a mob. 
They will attempt anything now that will keep the 
public mind occupied until they patch up their 
own blunders and cussedness." 

' ' I thought there ought to be an autopsy on 
Smith's body — to see how and where he was 
shot," suggested Colonel Grayson. 

"A good idea; I'll attend to it. Did the 
young gentlemen note anything peculiar about the 
shooting ? ' ' 

"They said the first shot sounded like a pistol; 
the second louder, like a musket, and then came 
almost a volley. Howard picked up an old mus- 
ket in the road; it had been discharged." 

"Where is that musket?" 

" Howard has it." 

"Tell him to keep it. Zach Brassley carried 
one as they left here yesterday afternoon — I saw 
him," said Avery, with new confidence. " There 
is a whole lot to this business that we don't know. 
Please say to Miss Grayson that she did perfectly 
right to borrow Pomp; that I shall not be called 
to any account for lending him; that I 'm glad she 
had him — glad for my own sake. I hope she 
stood the strain of last night's adventure, like the 
heroine she is." 

" She went through the night well, but is badly 
shaken up by the reaction," answered Colonel 
Grayson, as he started for home. 

No sooner was Colonel Grayson gone than 



264 In the Wake of War 

Avery set out to find Zack Brassley, who now 
was in command of the County Guards, He was 
chasing about lustily, stirring up commotion 
rather than seeking to restore quiet. 

"Just one moment, Brassley," said the Cap- 
tain. "There seems to be a good deal of excite- 
ment in town to-day, and perhaps not entirely 
without cause." 

"Wall, I should say! The Rebels air 'bout 
t'take the country, ef I doan stop 'em. D' yo' 
hear 'bout las' night ? " 

' ' Yes, I am learning the true condition of 
things, not only for last night, but a great deal 
that will bear on the transactions of yesterday. 
I can tell you a whole lot that you think I don't 
know; and let me volunteer the advice, that you 
begin right now to restore quiet. This turmoil 
will lead to the organization of a mob. I have 
the troops ready for business, and I '11 shoot down 
every person who connects himself with a riot, 
and I'll begin with those who stir the thing up." 

" I doan wan' no mob. I 'm try in' to keep the 
ole town quiet," said Brassley. 

" Now consider what I said," persisted Avery. 
" That old musket you carried out yesterday was 
found near the scene of the ambush, discharged. 
A mob will not cover the blunders and conspira- 
cies of yesterday — don't think it will. I hold 
the key to the situation, for all the plotting to the 
contrary. If these young men lay in hiding and 
shot the sheriff, they shall be brought to trial — 
they will have to answer the charge anyway, but 
it will be in court. Now get your men out, go 
from place to place and send these people home." 



In Which History Is Made 265 

Brassley started to make answer, but could do 
no more than stammer acquiescence; and knowing 
that he was beaten, took the Captain's advice and 
within half an hour every trace of disorder had 
disappeared from the streets. Later in the day, 
Howard Grayson and Manning Lewis came to 
town and after engaging the services of Colonel 
Hughley, the leading lawyer of the County, rode 
straight to the jail and placed themselves at the 
disposal of the constituted officers of the law. 
They were accommodated with a cell, and locked 
up on the charge of murder. 

But Avery had not rested on his interview with 
Brassley. In answer to a telegram from him the 
division surgeon at Nashville came down on the 
afternoon train and made a post-mortem examina- 
tion of the body of Jonas Smith. The report of 
this autopsy the doctor filed with Avery, as com- 
manding officer of the post. This disposed of 
the case, except for a formal hearing before a 
magistrate; but it did not arrest the eager hand 
of the history- maker. 

A newspaper correspondent in Kosciusko repre- 
senting the "Washington Truth," the "New 
York Fact," and the "Chicago Honour," sent 
out a special telegram to each of his papers. The 
following day, thousands of readers in the North, 
who were anxious to know the truth concerning 
the conditions in the South, were shocked to read 
on the first page of one of these widely circulated 
and highly credited sheets: — 

SOUTHEEN OUTRAGE ! ! ! 

WAR NOT OVER ! ! 

Officers of the Law Ambushed hy Rebels ! ! 



266 In the Wake of War 

Ruffianly Outlaws Shoot from Cover and Kill a 
Faithful and Fearless Sheriff ! 

Great Excitement ! ! Loyal Citizens in arms to 
avenge the crime and protect themselves! An 
attack from Rebels momentarily expected ! 

Such is history ! 

The good people of the North, who had thought 
the war ended and peace restored, read and 
wondered. In some the blood boiled again ; 
others could not understand it; and many an old 
soldier who knew the newspaper man as a camp- 
follower, said, "A lie." But the correspondent 
of "Truth," " Fact, " and " Honour, " followed 
his meager telegraphic report with a long and 
detailed account of the dastardly affair; not for- 
getting to create for Miss Mary Lou Grayson a 
character as bold and bloodthirsty as his genius 
could contrive. 



XXIII 

Some Reasonable Conclusions 

THE summer quickly passed, and the autumn 
brought its harvest of dry leaves and disap- 
pointed hopes. The drought continued without 
abatement until frost had blasted the few sickly 
products of sterile earth. 

Howard Grayson ahd Manning Lewis remained 
in the fetid cell of the old jail. Their only com- 
fort was a rug from the floor at Elmington. A 
bouquet of fresh flowers and some food, daintily 
prepared by Margaret Dodge and Mary Lou, were 
the daily ministrations of Mrs. Lewis and Mary 
Lou. Every effort to bring the charge of murder 
to a preliminary hearing was unavailing. The 
officers, whose duty it was to prosecute, and who 
talked often and loudly of the enormity of the 
crime, found convenient excuses for delay. Again 
the plain mandate of the Constitution and the one 
law common to all civilized people, requiring a 
speedy trial for those accused of and holden for 
crime, were set at naught. 

The persecutions of late Confederates continued 
with relentless virulence. Scores were arrested 
and imprisoned, some on complaints of negroes 
who never prosecuted, for the negro had been 
made a half-citizen, and could appear as a wit- 
ness; some on complaints from the Freedmen's 
Bureau, that never were substantiated; others by 
orders of the Provost-Marshal, that were wholly 

267 



268 In the Wake of War 



groundless in law. Not one was convicted of a 
crime known to the penal code of any civilized 
country on the face of earth. The disheartened 
man on parole, with his starving family about 
him, bore patiently; he thought only of food for 
his loved ones. He only asked: "Give me a 
chance." If he complained, it was of the loss of 
time, not of the devastated condition of his affairs; 
this he regarded as the work of his own hands, or 
the chance of war. 

In seeking relief he petitioned Congress, the 
President, the Governor, but could not break the 
silent contempt with which he had been treated 
since his case had passed beyond the hands of 
Grant, and since Lincoln was dead. Grant had 
been his friend, but now the generous conqueror 
was out of practical affairs. He had been placed 
on a pedestal, lest his magnanimity should inter- 
fere with the plans of the politicians. From this 
eminence he was allowed to descend once, and 
then he made a report that set the schemers 
quaking : — 

" My observations lead me to the conclusion 
that the citizens of the Southern States are anxious 
to return to self-government within the Union 
as soon as possible; that while reconstructing 
they want and require protection from the Gov- 
ernment; that they are in earnest in wishing to 
do what they think is required by the Govern- 
ment, not humiliating to them as citizens; and 
that if such a course were pointed out they would 
pursue it in good faith. It is to be regretted that 
there can not be a greater commingling at this 
time between the citizens of the two sections, 



Some Reasonable Conclusions 269 

and particularly those intrusted with the law- 
making power." 

An election was held meantime, but the South- 
ern white man remained at home with his work; 
he was not wanted at the polls. The Federal 
soldiers, residents of other States and Canada, 
exercised without question the glorious privilege 
of citizenship. The returns of this election 
showed the choice of one Abner Johnson, a just 
man of conservative views, for member of Con- 
gress; but the State Administration preferred to 
honor another and more radical candidate. Ac- 
cordingly, Wisdom and Supremacy sitting at 
Nashville threw out two thousand votes that had 
been cast for Mr. Johnson, giving the minority 
candidate a large majority. This was the first 
example of ' ' returning-board ' ' count the South 
had ever seen. 

Winter came with new and added miseries — 
cold, hunger, destitution. Those who had whereof 
to eat, divided with their less fortunate neighbors 
until there was little left, and starvation threat- 
ened whole communities. And with all this, the 
greedy maw of revenge was not sated. 

But those who had divided the food, and those 
who had lived thereby, drew closer together. 
Then, too, they were encircled by the bond of 
common suffering at the hands of the officers. 
More than ever before, and by force of condi- 
tions, the people of the South were a peculiar and 
a separate people. To this time they had not 
thought of defence or retaliation, only of endur- 
ance. They had hoped that their sincerity of 
purpose would bring them relief and quiet; that 



270 In the Wake of War 

dignified submission would soon be recognized 
and appreciated at Washington ; that the counsels 
of Grant and Thomas would prevail. 

Spring came early. It brought a promising 
smile to nature and begat new hope in despair- 
ing man. Again he was in the field, plowing 
and planting. Driven by the direst necessity, 
beckoned by the hope that is born of spring-time, 
he worked from early morning until late evening. 

But there were other sufferers whose misfor- 
tunes added their load to his. The severe winter, 
with the wretched shelter of the improvised freed- 
men's city, had caused great distress among the 
negroes huddled together at Kosciusko, under the 
protecting wing of the Government. Old slaves 
that were like members of the Southern man's 
family, were hungry and sick. This widely her- 
alded blessing, the Freedmen's Bureau, had 
spread disease and misery amongst the people 
who were thought by the -outside world to be 
infinitely benefited. They died off like poor 
sheep in a backward spring. The food distrib- 
uted by a parental Government was furnished by 
favored contractors, and was handed out by polit- 
ical agents. Between these two evils, the poor 
black man did well to survive his benefactions. 
He became alarmed at the constant presence of 
death, and would have returned to his cabin on 
the plantation but for the restraining and enlight- 
ening influence of the Union League. In this 
educational institution he learned that his old 
master was the direct cause of the sufferings then 
being visited upon him and his family. 

But with the fi.rst warm sun of spring hundreds 



Some Reasonable Conclusions 27t 



broke away and wandered sheepishly back to 
their old places, begging that the old ties of 
master and man be again restored. None were 
turned away; some were hired at monthly wages, 
others for a share of the crop. These contracts 
were ratified by the Freedmen's Bureau, although 
with a tedious regard for red-tape methods that 
savored of reluctance. Not only did the officers of 
the Bureau ratify these contracts, but they retained 
them for future reference and use. 

And there was yet no clash between the gentle- 
man of the South and his late slave. But the 
Union League continued its meetings. It de- 
spaired not, and lost not heart. It had other 
expedients that would be tried in good time. For 
the present, the negro was being taught the use 
of the musket. His lively fancy foresaw for him- 
self glory in the field of arms. Not only had he 
a musket, but if he had not traded off the old 
army revolver given to him the summer before, 
he now was doubly armed. Those in whom the 
martial spirit surged and swelled, returned not to 
the plantations. They lounged by day, dreaming 
on the glories of conquest, and at night took on 
fresh inspiration at the League. 

And the maker of history, the mighty man of 
newspaper space, had not slumbered. Each un- 
fortunate that was brought before the court or 
cast unheard into jail or prison, furnished a 
column of terrible warning to the good people of 
the North. No odds how silly or senseless the 
charge, how vicious or humiliating the punish- 
ment, or how patient and dignified the conduct of 
the victim, it all made to the one conclusion: 



272 In the Wake of War 

"The war is not ended." This creature came 
and went of his own free will, and was often 
a guest of the people whom he maligned. 

The advent of spring brought another innova- 
tion — large numbers of people were immigrating 
from the North. They were well received. 
Every Southern home was open, and such as the 
poor people had was cheerfully divided. A few 
Federal soldiers who had marched through Middle 
Tennessee with Thomas came in, and to them 
every hospitality was extended. The Confederate 
and Federal soldier met in fraternal greetings, 
and bartered yarns as they had exchanged tobacco 
for coffee over trenches during the lull of battle. 
But the civilian immigrant was shy; he showed 
the mould of the history-maker. 

Some bought land, or sought to do so, but the 
people of the South clung to their old homes with 
the same desperation that characterized their life 
at this time. Few plantations were for sale. 
Others rented land from the Government, held 
under the "Abandoned Lands Act." Another 
class set up in towns as land agents. 

An era of prosperity, new and unknown to 
this Section, was promised, and was not unwel- 
comed. The people had been reared to be con- 
tent with the rotation of seasons, and the natural 
sequence of events; but now they were worn out 
with persecutions, and saw in the opening of com- 
mercial and industrial activity, a return of peace 
and quiet. They thought: " If men are occupied 
with business affairs, they will forget their malice. ' ' 

A conclusion hopeful, and natural, but how 
disappointing ! 



XXIV 

The Men With Carpet-Bags 

THE recognition, at first so puny and peevish, 
that Congress had accorded the local Govern- 
ment, had grown bj little and- little as the rela^ 
tions between the National and State parties took 
form. The professions of loyalty to any project, 
however monstrous, on the part of the latter were 
sincere, and their pledges were almost fulfilled 
— the only failure came by mistake. It was on 
the subject of negro enfranchisement. 

In a moment of impulse, the representatives of 
the local Government, in mass convention assem- 
bled, resolved, by an overwhelming majority, 
that the black man should not vote; and more, 
that no man who favored negro citizenship should 
be supported in Tennessee for Congress. Here 
they came near splitting; or rather the National 
party had the State party in mid-air, and was 
about to cast it overboard. But a lurch in the 
grand old Ship of State called attention to an- 
other quarter for a little time, giving the local 
authorities a moment in which to prostrate them- 
selves and cry: "We didn't know that was 
wrong; do tell us what you want ! " And thus 
the matter was patched; the only penalty exacted 
was the relegation to political oblivion of those 
who had led in the unfortunate expression of 
honest sentiment in the mass convention. 

After this incident all went well. The party 

18 273 



274 In the Wake of War 

in Tennessee sought instructions in patriotism 
before assembling to pass resolutions. These 
instructions not only k«.p;. the politicians charged 
with a superior quality of love for the undivided 
Union, but put them in touch with the broader 
policy of the National party. From this associa- 
tion the State authorities, from Simon, Governor, 
down to Brassley, Sheriff, had learned, before the 
time at which this history has arrived, that with 
the hatred of treason could be coupled the love 
of gain; that the greed for vengeance and the 
greed for gold could join company without preju- 
dice to either virtue. 

Little gold was left, all had gone to the altar 
of Conviction — the most sweeping sacrifice of 
personal interest to political principles the world 
has ever seen. But that little gold was wanted. 
The National party had plans; the National party 
was practical. It had political reckonings to 
pay. Leaders had henchmen to be provided for, 
and the creation of new offices meant new jobs. 

The introduction of this business feature into 
the occupation of the officials called for a com- 
plete readjustment of their methods, lest the 
original purpose of humiliation and persecution 
should bo overlooked. The native Tennessean, 
who, up to this time, had arrayed himself with 
the dominant party, was wholly incapable of har- 
boring at once two designs. His life and train- 
ing were uncommercial; he had neither tact nor 
capacity for turning a dollar. Useful as he had 
been, he was inadequate to the growing needs. 

So, not only was a revision of plans necessary, 
but new blood was essential to the successful and 



The Men With CarpetBags 275 

profitable execution of these plans. Again note 
the leading hand of foreordination! The volun- 
teers for this vicarious transfusion sprang up on 
every side; they were on the ground; they had 
been beckoned by an unseen hand to the South, 
and every nook and corner of the unfortunate 
Section had its complement of ready martyrs. 
They were the adventurous immigrants, who, 
scorning the admonitions of the newspaper corre- 
spondents, had gone South to face rebellion, 
after the Rebel had taken to the plow. Nothing 
short of predestination, or a friendly hint from 
some politician, could have guided them; the 
country was waste, trade was dead, society was 
disorganized, starvation was rampant. 

Without loss of time offices were filled from 
their tattered ranks, for most of them wore evi- 
dences of pecuniary misfortune. The prosperity 
of the North during the war had not been suited 
to their talents — they had failed, one and all ; 
and, frayed and threadbare from the scramble 
for bread, they were now looking for an occupa- 
tion devoid of the vulgarity of competition. As 
was often said in those days, they wanted a 
" sure thing." 

In most cases the visible possession of these 
unseemly immigrants was a travelling-bag, made 
from carpet, with ugly designs wrought into its 
rough surface; and often its lank and flabby sides 
disclosed a wealth of unoccupied space within. 

Little wonder that the people of the South, 
when they saw this horde of hand-bags come 
bulging into their midst, revived an old nickname 
and called these immigrants, ' ' Carpet-B aggers. ' ' 



276 In the Wake of War 

True, these men were Yankees, but all Yankees 
did not carry carpet-sacks, nor did all Yankees 
bear the distinguishing characteristics that marked 
these men. They were a type, both in mould of 
mind and bodily feature. To know one, was to 
possess the ability to recognize his fellow on first 
sight and at long range. 

One of the most striking peculiarities of this 
crowd was their voluble sociability. They all 
loved to talk; some excelled in private conversa- 
tion, while others shone in theoretical discourse, 
in which stupendous projects were easily handled. 
They all seemed gifted with great words for public 
haranguing. And whether the conversation or 
harangue turned into politics, religion, science, 
perpetual motion, preaching, lightning-rods, or 
book agency, there was coupled to a glibness of 
tongue a patronizing quality of manner that with 
some audiences carried conviction. 

Each and every one carried a burning thirst for 
an audience, and this affliction early brought the 
Carpet- Baggers into inharmonious social rela- 
tions with the men of the South. The latter were 
too busy with rebuilding to stop and listen to 
finely spun theories. They had suddenly become 
practical. Accordingly, the immigrants had re- 
course to their grips and pass-words, and entered 
the Union League. 

Here was their logical abiding-place, a real 
Promised Land. The negroes never tired of their 
interminable and inscrutable talking, and ap- 
plauded and got the "power" at the climax of 
every discourse. Many of the Carpet-Baggers 
had gone South on the mission of enlightening 



The Men With Carpet-Bags 277 



their black brother, but once there, had yielded to 
the allurements of a social ambition never before 
gratified. But this ambition was of short life, 
and thej earlj found their social level with the 
men whom they had intended to evangelize. 

The boundaries of their political mission were 
less definite; for with the expanding policy of the 
party in power, the line seemed, each succeeding 
day, to be more and more remote. 

Such is the genesis of the Carpet-Baggers, 
and whether their origin be one to call up pride or 
shame, they were factors in events, and left their 
imprint on American history. 



XXV 

A Business Administration 

GOOD-MORNING, my dear colored brother; 
this is a fine morning, ' ' said a man in rusty 
clerical habit to Uncle Phil, as he stood at the 
entrance to Elmington. 

"Tor able; yas, suh." 

"I am looking for a man by the name of 
Grayson; is this his place, good brother?" 

" Dis am Gunnel Grayson's plantation, suh; 
but I doan 'low as I is yo' br'er," answered the 
old negro. 

"Yes, yes, you are; we are brothers. I am 
the friend and brother of all colored gentlemen. 
Is this Colonel, as you call him, at home 
to-day?" 

"Yas, suh!" said Uncle Phil, regarding the 
new arrival with a look of terror, for the man 
was afilicted with a nervous disorder that caused 
his face to twitch and v/rinkle outrageously. 
Uncle Phil thought him possessed of the Devil. 

The man rode up to the house, and finding 
Colonel Grayson in the front yard at work, drew 
up his horse and after his face had puckered itself 
a minute, introduced himself. 

' ' I am the Rev. Joshua Streeter, late of Wis- 
consin. I left a lucrative field and a large con- 
gregation up there, to come down and cast my lot 
with the good people of Tennessee. I wanted to 
do some good; wanted to convert the colored 

278 



A Business Administration 279. 

people and take them out of the darkness of 
ignorance and superstition. But that 's a big job, 
Mister; a pretty big job. Your folks showed 
their appreciation of the sacrifice I made, by 
appointing me sheriff of this county — Wilson — 
or Warren, oh, yes, thanks, Williams County, and 
Captain of the County Guards." 

"I am glad to know you, Mr. Streeter, " 
answered the Colonel. "Won't you get down 
and come into the house?" 

"No, thanks; can't stay. As I was saying 
about this appointment, it was an unexpected 
honor; but your folks said they wanted a business 
administration, and really made me take the place. 
I thought I could combine business and philan- 
thropy. Well, I started in yesterday to organize 
things. I found a terrible state of affairs, no 
head to anything. This morning I went through 
the jail, to kind of get acquainted with my board- 
ers. There are some nice men in that old place — 
some real gentlemen. I found two young men, 
charged with a serious crime — murder. One of 
them is your boy, I believe ? " 

"My son is in your jail, so accused, Mr. 
Streeter," answered Colonel Grayson. 

"A serious matter; a strong case, too, so 
I hear. Sad, for you seem like a nice man, and 
the boys appear to be rather decent. Too bad 
to hang such young men, ' ' said the new sheriff, 
with sympathy showing through the kaleidoscopic 
wrinkles of his face. ' ' And the very moment 
I saw them, said I to myself, ' something 
ought to be done to save them, and you, Joshua 
Streeter, are the very man to do it.' " 



280 In the Wake of War 

"I know of nothing to be done, except to 
bring the case on for trial," answered Colonel 
Grayson, with perfect composure. 

"That is the worst thing in the world; the 
very worst. The proof against them seems to be 
overwhelming. It ought to be fixed up, Mr. 
Grayson." 

"I know nothing about 'fixing up,' as you 
call it. My son and his friend have tried by 
every honorable means to get a hearing. That is 
all we ask now." 

"Sure to hang, Mr. Grayson. It's a very 
serious case. Let me suggest that you and I 
arrange to get the case dismissed. Let me tell 
you, my friend, a dozen of the County Guards 
will swear straight against the boys. Don't speak 
of a trial; I'll do anything I can to help you get 
the matter out of court. That 's your way." 

' ' I have proposed the only remedy we know 
here in the South : A fair trial. Now, as a mat- 
ter of information, what do you suggest? " asked 
Colonel Grayson, who more than suspected the 
mission of the sheriff. 

"Well, Mr. Grayson, I've been a philanthro- 
pist all my life — I've worked in the vineyard 
of the Lord for these twenty years, and don't 
believe in harsh measures. I don't want to hang 
those boys; and if they are convicted, as sheriff, 
I 'd have to do it. They seem to be fairly nice 
boys, and I can save them, my friend; at least, 
I'm willing to try. The folks down here hon- 
ored me before I had been thirty days in the 
State, and I want to show to them that Joshua 
Streeter appreciates an honor. I want to do 



A Business Administration 281 

some good ; that 's been my work for going on 
twenty years." And he added, in a very confi- 
dential manner: "I tell you, it can be fixed up, 
my friend. " 

"How? " asked Colonel Grayson, still seeking 
direct information. 

" Oh, — on the payment of some money to the 
right parties, I guess; don't know exactly; but 
I guess so," said the sheriff, with some embar- 
rassment and much wriggling of features. 

"Why should I pay money?" 

" To get rid of the whole thing. You can bet- 
ter pay certain parties, than lawyer's fees. Then, 
if we fix it up, you do away with certain convic- 
tion — the boys go scot free, if we succeed." 

"On your suggestion, let me ask, what amount 
would I have to pay? I enquire for informa- 
tion." 

"Oh, oh — something like five hundred dol- 
lars, if we succeed in fixing the matter." 

"In other words, I am asked to bribe officers 
of the law?" 

"No, not a bribe, exactly. Call it costs." 

"Now, Mr, Streeter, my son tells me, and I 
never knew him to speak an untruth, that he has 
committed no crime. And more, if the case 
comes to trial, we have evidence that will send 
the County Guards scurrying to save themselves. 
"We stand for a trial," said the Colonel, sternly. 

" Oh, you misunderstand me. If five hundred 
is too steep, maybe four hundred are nearer your 
circumstances ? " persisted the philanthropist. 

"Not a cent! My son is not a criminal; I 
shall not become one to save him a trial." 



282 In the Wake of War 

"It's a clean business transaction, raj friend. 
No crime to save those boys; perhaps you can 
raise a hundred ? ' ' 

" Not one cent," said the Colonel, with as much 
impatience as he ever displayed. " Allow me to 
bid you good-morning, Mr. Streoter. " And Colo- 
nel Grayson started for the house, leaving the 
sheriff amazed at the outlook for the first proposi- 
tion under his business administration. 

" It 's a clean business proposition, Mr. Gray- 
son, perfectly clean. I want to save the boys, 
my friend; I don't want to hang them. Just for 
costs; no bribe, understand. Better think it over, 

my friend ' ' But Colonel Grayson had gone 

into the house and shut the door behind him. 
The preacher was not abashed, only astonished at 
the lack of Colonel Grayson's perception. The 
disdain with which the latter treated an offer so 
plainly advantageous, was beyond the experience 
and conception of the newly-made sheriff, and set 
him to thinking seriously. He turned his horse 
and rode slowly down toward the pike, ruminat- 
ing: " What ails these folks; hain't they got any 
business sense? Five hundred dollars in sight 
ten minutes ago, and not a cent in the contribution 
box now. Well, there are other ways to make 
them shell out." 

Near the gate he met Uncle Phil, and stopping 
his horse, said: "My dear colored brother, do 
you work for this man ? ' ' 

"I lives hyear, but I doan wuck t' hu't," 
answered the old negro. 

" Have you a contract signed by the Freed- 
men's Bureau? " 



A Business Administration 283 

' ' Naw, suhj I 's got uen* cont'act with nobody. 
Gunnel Grayson, he my ole marster; I doan wan' 
no cont'act." 

"Then this man is your master, is he? " per- 
sisted Sheriff Streeter. 

" Yas, suh." 

' ' Have you been with your master to the 
Freedmen's Bureau?" 

"Naw, suh. We hev nuttin t' do with no 
Bureau. ' ' 

"Thank you, my friend and brother." And 
the sheriff rode away. 

That very afternoon Zack Brassley and two 
other members of the County Guards came to 
Ehnington with a warrant and arrested Colonel 
Grayson and carried off Uncle Phil as a witness. 
The new officer did not participate in the execution 
of this mandate; he was the business head of the 
department. But when the prisoner was brought 
before his honor, N. Lex Witan, Sheriff Streeter 
was present as witness and prosecutor. 

The case was immediately called, and the 
magistrate read the complaint. 

" May it please the court," said Colonel Gray- 
sou, with as much courtesy as he would have 
shown in addressing the Supreme Court of the 
land, "that does not explain how I am brought 
here by force and arms to answer this remarkable 
charge. This negro man. Uncle Phil, my life-* 
long friend, is not in my employ. He has not 
done a day's work under my direction for above 
thirty years. ' ' 

' ' He is on your premises, and I suppose at 
work; at least he told me you were his employer." 



284 In the Wake of War 

" I say Cunnel Graysou war my ole marster, 
suh ! " Uncle Phil cut in, bristling with indig- 
nation. 

"Perhaps I misunderstood you, my brother," 
said the preacher-sheriff, smoothly. ' ' I certainly 
did not intend to misquote you, my friend." 

" Yo' air no br'er mine, an' I tole yo' so dis 
mawnin," answered Uncle Phil, sharply. 

"Do you work for this man?" asked the 
sheriff, pointing to Colonel Grayson. 

" Naw, suh, I doan wuck fo' no pusson." 

"Don't work, hey? How do you live?" 
asked the sheriff. 

" I wuck for de Lawd, suh. 1 is a preacher of 
de Gospil," answered Uncle Phil, with functional 
reverence, and especial emphasis on the last 
syllable of "Gospil." 

"Ah, I see; yes, dear brother, 'The Lord is 
mindful of his own,' and will provide," said the 
sheriff, although his own appearance discredited 
either his calling or his statement. 

"And Uncle Phil's friends make up the bal- 
ance," put in Colonel Grayson. 

"This is a remarkable case, indeed. Tell me 

about it, won't you, Mister ?" asked the 

sheriff, of Colonel Grayson. 

" With ])leasure, sir; but first permit me to 
correct your pronunciation of my name. It is 
Grayson, Rodeny Grayson, sir ; not 'Mister.' 
There is little to add to what Uncle Phil has said. 
He has a good tract of land, in the middle of 
which stands a more than comfortable frame cot- 
tage of two rooms. Here he reigns supreme 



A Business Administration 285 

"Doan fo'git Manda, Mars Rodeny," put in 
the negro. 

"Oh, yes, except for Aunt Manda, his wife. 
They make a garden, raise a pig or two " 

"But de Yankee sojers stole 'em," broke in 
Uncle Phil. 

"And some chickens " 

" Dey stole dem, too," interrupted Uncle 
Phil. 

"And what they need beyond that," continued 
Colonel Grayson, ' ' comes to the good old people 
from their friends." 

"Emm, emm, yes, yes; evidently we have 
made a mistake," said the sheriff, looking at the 
magistrate. ' ' Guess, your honorable court, we 
shall have to dismiss, upon payment of cost; 
although there is not quite sufficient proof to war- 
rant the conclusion that there should not be a 
contract." 

' ' Yas, I think, in reason, I will dismiss the 
case, if Gunnel Grayson will pay the cost," said 
the magistrate. 

"Is it usual for the defendant who has been 
found 'not guilty,' to pay the cost?" asked Col- 
onel Grayson. 

" 1^0 're not found ' not guilty, ' Cunnel ; not by 
a jugful. Hit 's 'bout half an' half ; so, in rea- 
son, yo' oughter pay cost; an' thet is the decree 
of this Cote," and the justice gave force to his 
decision with a whack of his fist on the desk. 
Streeter folded his arms and looked terrible. 

" If I am guilty, I await the sentence of this 
Court. What is my sentence ? ' ' asked Colonel 
Grayson, calmly. 



286 In the Wake of War 

"Thet am the decree of this Cote; yo' pay the 
cost," answered the justice, with labored delib- 
eration. 

' ' At what do you tax costs, sir ? ' ' 

The sheriff and the magistrate held a whispered 
consultation, after which the latter straightened 
up and looked terrible, as he said: " 'Bout ten 
dollars. Gunnel." 

These new officers never were certain about 
amounts; they worked to a sliding scale. 

"Give me a receipt, please," said Colonel 
Grayson, as he paid the money. Streeter gath- 
ered in the coin and wrote a hasty receipt. 

' ' Thank you, ' ' said Colonel Grayson, taking 
the written paper, ' ' Now, Uncle Phil, we will 
go home, I reckon." 

"Just one minute. Mister Grayson. Did 

you say that this colored brother is married?" 
asked the sheriff, as they started to leave the 
court room. 

" He is married." 

"Legally married?" asked the sheriff. 

"I reckon so," answered Colonel Grayson. 
' ' The ceremony was performed in my parlor by 
a regular clergyman, the rector of the Episcopal 
parish in which I live. There were a large num- 
ber of guests; my friend. Major Lewis, and 
myself were witnesses on the certificate. I gave 
the bride away in good orthodox fashion. ' ' 

' ' Was a license procured ? ' ' asked Streeter. 

"I think not, sir. That was not our custom 
for negro marriages." 

"Then it was not a valid marriage, and we can 
not recognize it," declared the sheriff, with a look 



A Business Administration 287 

at Squire Witan. "Do you understand, my 
friend and brother," he continued, addressing 
Uncle Phil, "these white folks down here have 
fooled you. You were not lawfully married. 
You are an adulterer — an immoral man, and all 
because these white folks have deceived you 



"Stop, sir," exclaimed Colonel Grayson, in a 
voice that caused the baggy knees of the adven- 
turer to strike together. "Do you charge me 
with having deceived this good man, who has 
been ray personal friend for fifty years ? ' ' 

"No, no, I mis-spoke! I take it back, Mis- 
ter Grayson," whined the sheriff, seeking 

shelter behind the magistrate's desk. "In my 
zeal, I went too far; excuse me, please." 

' ' That ceremony was performed thirty years 
ago. Do 3'ou question the legality of it?" 

" Yo' will hev to get a license. Gunnel, or we 
will commit the nigger, ' ' explained the Court. 

' ' May I ask if you know the current price on 
marriage licenses ? ' ' 

"The new clerk sells 'em fo' 'bout six dollars 
fo' whites, an' fo' dollars fo' niggers," answered 
Witan. 

"Well, Uncle Phil, we will get a license." 

"Better have the marriage performed at the 

Freedraen's Bureau, Mister Grayson," put 

in the sheriff, as the last counsel. 

Uncle Phil and Colonel Grayson went to the 
office of County Clerk, paid the immigrant, a 
retired book-agent from Michigan, four dollars for 
a license and then repaired to the Freedmen's 
Bureau. 



288 In the Wake of War 

' ' We will have no mistake this time, Uncle 
Phil," said the Colonel. "Business comes easy 
under the new administration, if one has a plenty 
of money." 

At the Bureau, Colonel Grayson asked for his 
brother Felix. The parson was there, very busy 
with papers, but listened to the story of Uncle 
Phil's crime. 

"You need not bring Aunt Manda in," said 
he, "I know it 's all right. I '11 fill out a certifi- 
cate and sign it as preacher; I 've a preacher's 
license. 1 '11 do all I can for you, Brother 
Rodeny If I had to go out to Elmington, I 'd 
have to charge you ten dollars; but for this certifi- 
cate well, I'll be easy on Uncle Phil; I'll 

charge him only five dollars." 

Colonel Grayson counted the money he had left 
and could find only three dollars and a quarter. 

"Never mind the certificate, Felix; I don't 
seem to have enough money," he said, quietly. 

"Oh, that's all right. Brother Rodeny," said 
Felix, grasping the currency in sight. "I'll let 
Uncle Phil oft" with that; he 's a sort of a preacher, 
and I '11 be easy on him. He 's a good old man; 
has done me a hundred favors; and, if I remem- 
ber right, spanked me once when I was an 
urchin. Glad to do you a service. Brother Rod- 
eny; call on me often." 

And Colonel Grayson pocketed the paper; it 
certified that Felix Grayson, Minister of the Gos- 
pel, had that day married Phil Grayson, aged 
eighty years, and Manda Grayson, aged seventy- 
nine years, in the presence of John Smith and 
Joseph Johnson, witnesses. Armed with this 



A Business Administration 289 

valuable document, they went thoughtfully home. 
The exhibition of power seen that day caused 
Colonel Grayson some anxiety for the outcome 
of a trial of his son and Manning Lewis. 

Uncle Phil was disposed to discuss events, but 
his master refused to talk, more than to say: 
"You now see who your friends are, Uncle Phil. 
Mr. Streeter told you many times that he was 
your friend and brother." 

"He ain' no kin of mine. Naw, suh, Mars 
Rodeny; an' no frien', nurr. I jes' wish Manda 
hev been thar ! " And the old man chuckled to 
himself. 



19 



XXVI 

When Rogues Fall Out 

DURING the months of the incarceration of 
Howard Grayson and Manning Lewis, Cap- 
tain Avery bad been a regular visitor at Elming- 
ton. He was more tban attentive; be bad made 
frequent offers of special services, and bad quietly 
volunteered to Colonel Grayson niucb advice in 
the young men's case. But all this could not 
change the attitude of Mary Lou, She constantly 
bantered him about his politics, and at times 
commented on the peculiarities of bis official asso- 
ciates in a way that touched his pride. He was 
utterly unable to discover bis place in her estima- 
tion; be never once felt that be bad a standing 
that warranted a declaration of love; yet so cor- 
dial and hearty was bis welcome, that he never 
for a moment lost hope. He knew that Colonel 
Grayson was his friend — there was abundant evi- 
dence of that; he hoped that Mary Lou was more 
than a friend, yet be lacked the courage to break 
through the uncertainty and face the hidden 
fact. 

Not only did Avery call at Elmington with 
constancy, but be made quite frequent visits to 
the young gentlemen in the old jail. But in his 
display of sympathy be was much more discreet 
than be bad been on the exciting day that fol- 
lowed the shooting of Jonas Smith. Then bis 
own official position had been plotted against; he 

290 



When Rogues Fall Out 291 

was personally interested to discover and hold all 
possible evidence that would place the County 
Guards under his power. 

In fact, a change had come over the feelings of 
Captain Avery since his meeting with Manning 
Lewis at the Bluff, When he tore to shreds and 
burned the resignation he had written under the 
press of impulse, his attitude toward the people 
he met, except the Graysons and Lewises, was 
completely altered. His conduct became more 
studied, less spontaneous; he suddenly became 
conciliatory toward the Federal officers, although 
he still heartily detested them. With the advent 
of the men with carpet-bags, he even found some 
associates. Distasteful as they were, he felt more 
at ease with them than he did with the cordial, 
genial gentlemen of the South. In company with 
the Carpet-Baggers, he was not embarrassed by 
a feeling of responsibility for the insults and 
humiliations that were daily heaped upon the 
Southern people. 

The idea of leaving the army to become a 
citizen of Tennessee had gone up with the smoke 
of his burning resignation. The Captain seemed 
to think that his proposed renunciation of political 
faith and associations had not received sufficient 
encouragement. Mary Lou, especially, had not 
rejoiced over his abjuration in the gracious and 
condescending manner that he had hoped she 
would. Others to whom he had confided his rash 
purpose, expressed a welcome as cordial as he 
could have desired; but none seemed to regard it 
as a matter of life and death to the South. 

Now he was often in consultation with Felix 



292 In the Wake of War 

Graj^son; and Joshua Streeter, the new sheriflf, 
advised with him on nearly every important 
measure. It so happened that the day after 
Streeter had made advances to Colonel Grayson 
for the release of the young gentlemen, he called 
on Avery and related to him the whole con- 
versation. 

"Now, Streeter," said Avery, who not only 
had plans of his own, but saw a long-wished-for 
opportunity to create an obligation, "you 'd bet- 
ter not push that case to trial. I know all about 
it; too much for the good of the County Guards. 
Those young fellows have evidence that you can't 
get around with all the witnesses in Christendom. 
Instead of hanging two Rebels, you '11 lose some 
of your Guards. Old Colonel Grayson can't be 
worked for a cent, that's certain. It 's a nasty 
business, and the sooner you are out of it, the 
better." 

" Seems as if we ought to get some fees out of 
it," persisted the sheriflf, working his face. 

" If you knew what I know, you would be glad 
to let go without having any questions asked. I 
will see Colonel Grayson and hush the thing up, 
and you arrange to let the fellows out to-morrow. ' ' 

"As you think best. Brother Avery; only we 
ought to get some money; a business administra- 
tion, you know, ' ' said the sheriff, twisting his face 
into hideous wrinkles. 

" Never mind fees, — save the administration," 
said Avery. 

Later in the day, Streeter recounted his experi- 
ence with Colonel Grayson, to Felix. 

' ' You don't know how to manage these people, 



When Rogues Fall Out 293 

Brother Streeter," was Felix's reply. "I was 
born at Elniington and know just how to touch 
every man in this country. Too bad, Brother 
Streeter, I fear you 've spoiled the whole thing. 
I '11 drive out this evening and see Brother 
Rodeny. I will present the case right. He will 
see at a glance that we have witnesses, court and 
jury; perhaps I can pull the scheme through." 

" But Captain Avery thinks we have a rather 
poor case." 

" Oh, Avery is trying to court my brother's 
foster-daughter; he has been against us all along. 
Don't blame him for courting — she is the pret- 
tiest girl in Tennessee — but business is business. 
There are some things in the case that are hard 
to explain, but the young fellows don't know of 
them. I '11 fix it, Brother Streeter, and we will 
attend to the fees. Who '11 be in the divide ? " 
' The sheriff, the clerk, the Provost-Marshal 
and one or two others," answered Streeter, with 
horrible grimaces. 

' ' Who are the others ? ' ' asked Felix. 

" The agent of the Bureau." 

"And the Judge? '' 

" I suppose he is entitled to something." 

" The Attorney-General ? " 

"Yes." 

"And myself?" 

"Certainly, Brother Grayson," answered the 
sheriff. 

' ' I will try and earn my share, ' ' said Felix, 
and he ordered his carriage. 

Streeter went direct from this conversation to 
Avery's headquarters, intending to delay the 



294 In the Wake of War 

Captain until Felix Grayson should have an 
opportunity to report. But when he arrived at 
Avery's tent he was told that the Captain had gone 
out for a ride, as was his custom of a pleasant 
afternoon. Returning quickly to the Freedmen's 
Bureau he found that Felix had driven away 
during his absence. Evidently his plans were in 
danger of going awry. He stood still for several 
minutes, and the features of his face did awful 
execution. 

When Felix drove up to his brother's house 
that afternoon, he found Mary Lou, Colonel 
Grayson, and Avery upon the front porch. A 
chair was brought for tlie young parson and he 
was asked to join the circle. 

' ' Thanks, Brother Rodeny. This is the most 
hospitable roof in America; hospitality has de- 
scended in this house from generation to genera- 
tion, until it permeates every nook and corner. 
Is that poetic enough for you, Mary Lou ? ' ' said 
Felix, in his best mood. 

"Very pretty. Uncle Felix," she answered, 
" but, as the newspapers are saying: ' Important, 
if true.' " 

"Oh, it 's true, easy enough; I w^as born here 
and know all about it," he replied. " But why 
do you persist in calling me ' Uncle ? ' Am I so 
very old 'i " 

"No, not so venerable; but you are father's 
brother. That surely is no fault of mine. Uncle 
Felix." 

" But I don't like it, Mary Lou. I 'd rather be 
your friend than your uncle," he said, somewhat 
nettled by her indifference. 



When Rogues Falu Out 295 

"Now, would irt you like to be both?" she 
asked, with tantalizing sweetness. 

" I don't like to be uncle." 

" Sure-enough ? " 

" Yes, sure-enough." 

"Well, Mr. Grayson, if the relationship 
annoys you, I won't advertise it — unless I for- 
get, " she said, v/ith exaggerated seriousness. 

"lou are an awful tease; yon know I am 
proud of my connection with this family," said 
Felix. Then turning to Colonel Grayson, he con- 
tinued: "Having again settled this old quarrel 
witli Mary Lou, I have a matter of interest to 
suggest to you. You need not withdraw, Captain 
Avery; you are a good friend to our family. I 
refer to getting Hov/ard and young Lewis out of 
their trouble. I don't care for Lewis, he is a 
rather wild and irreligious fellow, but I have 
worried about Howard these months; and never, 
until Brother Streeter was made sheriff, have I 
seen my way to be of any service to you. As I 
have often said to you, there is, or has been, 
a conflict between State and Federal authority. 
Captain Avery and I belong to the latter; the 
boys are under the jurisdiction of the former. 
You see my position. 'Now Streeter is a very 
reasonable man; a good and devout man. He 
don't want to do anything wrong. I have some 
influence with him; he will listen to me. I talked 
the case over with him a long time this morning, 
and finally he got sense. He will do the right 
thing; at least, he is willing to try to help the 
boys. Wouldn't you like to have Howard home, 
Mary Lou?" 



296 In the Wake of War 



" Surely, when be is honorably discharged, 
U ," but she sav'ed herself the full " Uncle." 

"It can be done to-morrow," said Felix, 
eagerly. "To drive Howard, a free man, out 
here for dinner to-morrow would be the proudest 
act of my life. I will contribute a bouquet of 
flowers for the table! Would n't that be a festival 
occasion. Captain? Howard free! honorably 
discharged ! What say you. Brother Rodeny?" 

" You know the Grayson pride too well to 
ask," said Colonel Grayson, in a non-committal 
manner, for he had not yet heard the conditions. 

' ' Some costs have been made which the officers 
demand shall be paid — a mere trifle • — but they 
will have to be paid, nevertheless. Of course 
you don't mind that, so long as Howard goes 
free?" 

" Pardon me, Felix, but I do mind," answered 
Colonel Grayson, quickly. 

"He will be honorably discharged; he will be 
fully acquitted; I would suggest nothing else," 
said Felix. 

"To the world, yes; to me, no. Your man, 
Streeter, was here yesterday and proposed a 
bribe; with discourtesy that 1 can not remember 
ever before to have shown any person, I walked 
off and left him sitting out there in the yard and 
v/ent into the house to tell Mary Lou that the 
turnip-greens were big enough to pull." 

"Indeed! was Streeter here?" asked Felix, 
with great surprise. " Strange he did n't tell me 
about it. Well, well, you decline to pay the 
costs ? But, Brother Rodeny, these fellows have 
witnesses, jury and court, all against the boys." 



When Rogues Fall Out 297 

" As I told Mr. Streeter, ' a fair trial is all we 
ask,' " said Colonel Grajson, firmly. 

"The costs are but a trifle, Brother Rodeny. " 

"Not a cent, Felix," said Colonel Grayson, 
quietly. 

"Well, this beats me; but I shall keep right 
on at work for Howard's release," said Felix. 
"I wouldn't mind paying the costs myself, if 
Mary Lou would ask me to do so," And the 
parson cast an enquiring look at the young lady. 

" Father speaks for the family, U " 

"Not one penny from anybody, on such an 
account," said Colonel Grayson, in his quiet, 
pleasant manner. 

" Five o'clock ! I must be going," said Felix, 
consulting his watch. ' ' What do you think of 
the case against the boys. Captain Avery ? " asked 
Felix, rising to take his leave. 

" I have no opinion to express at this time," 
said Avery, who could scarcely conceal his disgust. 

After Felix had driven away, the Captain was 
silent for some minutes, but v/hen he arose to go, 
he said: " I think this matter can be arranged 
without any payment of costs or bribe, as I told 
you before Mr. Grayson came. Of course we 
don't know what deviltry they have hatched up 
since I left town; but I will do my best, and will 
let you know results to-morrow. Miss Mary Lou, 
when you visit your brother and friend." 

"Thank you, very, very much, Captain 
Avery," said Mary Lou. 

The next morning Mary Lou rode Howard's old 
war horse to Kosciusko and carried her basket of 
delicacies, the work of her own hands, for Howard 



298 In the Wake of War 



and his fellow prisoner. Tlirough all these wearj 
months, she had not once failed, for rain or 
shine. At the door of the jail she was denied 
admittance, and when she sought to establish her 
right to see her brother, the negro jailer cut her 
off rudely: " Naw, yo' caint git in hyear. No 
mo' foolisherness — dems o'ders from de she'ff, 
an' o'ders is o'ders, as Cap'n Smith iiseter say." 

" May I see the sheriff, please ? " she asked. 

" Naw! De she'ff done gone 'way an' lef 
dem o'ders. Yo' caint see 'im, I tells yo'." 

' ' Will you please to carry this basket of food 
to my brother? " she asked, almost pleadingly. 

" Naw, mum; I haint got no o'ders." 

The insolence of the negro was unbearable; 
and to add to it, some black loafers wearing old 
Federal uniforms, standing about the jail, laughed 
boisterously at her embarrassment. ' ' She nerr 
seen 'em," said one, in a rough voice; another 
bawled out: "Bottom rail on do top of de fence." 
Evidently they had been posted there to annoy 
her. 

This resolute girl never before had felt so 
utterly helpless. Her brother in jail ; her father 
at home, three miles away; not a friend in the 
world available to lend her a hand. And most of 
all, her brother was at that moment hungry, for 
he could not eat the putrid food given to the 
prisoners. She could have smiled on the insults, 
if Howard and Manning had had the contents of 
her basket. She dared not go to Felix; she 
could not appeal to Avery. The sense of desola- 
tion, the feeling of helplessness, the insults of 
the hired loafers, the disappointment at leaving 



When Rogues Fall Out 299 

her brother without food, overcame her; with tears 
streaming down her cheeks she momited the old 
horse and turned toward home. She had hoped, 
and not without good cause, that Howard and 
Manning would be free; but instead she had been 
denied the poor pi-ivilege of seeing them or feed- 
ing them. For once she was unable to control her 
feelings; and as she rode away, weeping passion- 
ately, the negroes shouted in derision. 

Two blocks from the jail she met Avery; she 
had not seen him through her blinding tears until 
he called "whoa" to her horse. Instantly she 
sat erect, and dashing the tears from her eyes, 
smiled a pleasant good-morning. 

"Ah, Miss Grayson, what is the matter? 
What has happened? " 

" Nothing, Captain Avery; only only " 

and her voice broke and she wept anew. 

" What is it, please; do tell me," he cried, and 
in his excitement he drew his sword from its 
scabbard. "Oh, I can guess! Those damned 
scoundrels have refused to let you see your 
brother. Pardon my language — I forgot your 
presence. Come back, please, I will attend to 
this matter myself." 

' ' Thank you. Captain Avery, I can not go 
back there now — those negroes were so rough ; 
I will go for father and we will return directly." 

" But can't I be of service? Do let me help 
you ! What can I do ? " he asked, eagerly. 

Her face brightened, and smiling through her 
tears she said : ' ' Nothing, thank you very much, 
only do not look at me with such splendid com- 
miseration in your face. I really have not 



300 In the Wake of War 

deserved such grand sympathy, for I have been 
a baby these last few minutes. But Howard is 
hungry, right now, and I have his breakfast, din- 
ner and supper in this basket. You can do him a 
friendly service by carrying it to hira ? " 

" Is that all ? Can't I do something for you ? " 

"Yes, thank you, you can do me an especial 
favor. ' ' 

"Good! What is it?" 

" Do not mention to Howard the disgraceful 
condition of babyhood in which you right now 
overtook me. It would make him unhappy; and 
if he gets out, somebody would have to answer 
for it. Then more trouble would follow."" 

"Is that all? " 

' ' Yes, thank you. ' ' 

"When you and Colonel Grayson return, I 
will have an order for you to see Captain Gray- 
son and Lieutenant Lewis, or there will be trouble 
among my friends with carpet-bags," he said, 
ironically, to forestall her raillery. 

" I should not have mentioned your associates; 
you do me an injustice. Do not make any trouble 
for yourself on our account, ' ' Then raising her 
finger threateningly, she continued: " As a last 
word, I command that during my absence, you 
keep the peace." 

Mary Lou returned to Elmington with all the 
speed the old horse could muster. She told only 
a part of her experiences to Colonel Grayson, but 
that sufficed to arouse fears and suspicions that 
foul play had been practiced on the young men. 
They feared that either Howard and Manning had 
been subjected to a star-chamber trial, had 



When Rogues Fall Out aoi 

received summary sentence and had been secretly 
conveyed to prison at Nashville; or that they had 
been nnirdered by hired assassins. Nothing was 
impossible if the officers despaired of collecting a 
bribe, for they feared a trial. 

Colonel Grayson mounted the work mule, and 
with Mary Lou rode toward Kosciusko. As they 
neared the village, they met Felix driving like 
mad, evidently going in search of them. His 
appearance did not allay the anxiety of Mary 
Lou, who was already wrought to a high nervous 
tension by the events of the morning. But as 
Felix drew near, his beaming countenance reas- 
sured her. 

"Ah, Brother Eodeny, I have it at last; here 
is the order for Howard's release. Read it, Mary 
Lou," he cried, handing her a folded paper. 

" To the jailer: " it read. " Release Howard 
Grayson from custody. By order of Attorney- 
General. Joshua Streeter, 

Sheriff." 

" But, Felix, that does not mention Manning 
Lewis," said Colonel Grayson, quickly, when 
Mary Lou had read the order. " Have you seen 
Howard ? I do not think he will accept liberty, 
leaving his friend in jail." 

"Brother Streeter is now out to see Major 
Lewis, and may arrange for his son. I could do 
nothing for young Lewis. ' ' 

"He will do nothing with Walker Lewis on the 
plan he suggested to me, you know that," an- 
swered Colonel Grayson. "You paid no money 
for this paper, did you, Felix? " 

" Not a cent. Influence, alone. " 



302 In the Wake of War 

"I will see Howard, but I am certain be will 
remain witb bis friend. Botb are equally inno- 
cent, and Howard will not accept freedom and 
cast an imputation on Manning. But we surely 
are grateful for all your efforts in our bebalf, Felix. 
Sball I keep tbis paper ? " be asked, banding out 
tbe order. 

"Certainly, it is for you, and Mary Lou." 

Felix drove on down tbe pike tbat led to Fair- 
fax, evidently to meet tbe sberiff. Near tbe jail 
Colonel Grayson and Mary Lou met Avery. 

" Ab, I bave succeeded in part; bere is an or- 
der for you to visit Captain Grayson and Lieuten- 
ant Lewis at pleasure. I wisb it were an order for 
tbeir release; but tbat will come later. It's bound 
to come ! Tbe County Guards are afraid of tbem, 
or tbey would bave been out montbs ago. Tbe 
young gentlemen know too mucb, or tbe Guards 
tbink tbey do. You know bow tbat is; it 's infa- 
mous, but true — imprisoned, not for crime, but 
to conceal tbe crime of otbers ! But matters are 
badly stirred up; a crisis is near; everybody is 
trying to cover tracks, and it may result in tbe 
release of tbe martyrs. I bope so! Miss Grayson, 
it affords me great pleasure to deliver tbis writing 
to you." And tbe Captain raised bis bat as be 
banded tbe order to ber. 

"Tbank you, beartily, Captain Avery. We 
feel tbat you are doing your best for us; but 
again let me ask, do not embarrass yourself on 
our account." 

Mary Lou banded tbe order to Colonel Grayson 
and be fol'dcd it in witb tbe one be bad received a 
few moments before from Felix. 



When Rogues Fall Out 303 



The excitement of the day, the tension caused 
by officers scurrying about with mysterious and 
ominous countenances, by watchers posted in 
several parts of the town to spy on the movements 
of certain citizens, was not all outside the jail. 
The clamor raised when Mary Lou was boister- 
ously stopped on her way to visit her brother had 
penetrated the corridors and was known to every 
unfortunate within. Streeter made an early visit 
to Howard and Manning, and after expatiating on 
the glories of liberty and the responsibilities of a 
sheriff, sought to get a letter from the latter to 
Major Lewis asking him to pay a bribe, in the 
name of costs, that they might be set at liberty. 
Failing of this, the sheriff had issued the order 
forbidding anyone to see them. 

Later on, Felix, to whom all schemes were 
known, all doors open, went there and tried to 
get signed a written statement — in effect a piece 
of perjury — exonerating the County Guards from 
participation in the death of Jonas Smith. Zack 
Brassley was back of this plan, and the success of 
it was the same as the earlier undertaking of the 
sheriff. 

Naturally enough, after the stir and strain of 
the forenoon, the visit of Mary Lou and Colonel 
Grayson to cell Number 6 took on some of the 
features of a reunion. All the fears, anxieties and 
tribulations of the morning were discussed, except 
the insults to Mary Lou by the negro loafers. Of 
this she made no mention. The heaviest burden 
she bore alone, and in silence. 

When this reunion was over and Colonel 
Grayson and his daughter had started for home, 



304 In the Wake of War 

they met Felix, his horse covered with foam from 
furious driving, going toward the jail. Sheriff 
Streeter rode with him. 

"What did Howard say," Brother Rodeny? 
cried Felix, without stopping. 

' ' That he and Manning would go out, or stay, 
together," Colonel Grayson called after him. 

"All right," said Felix, pulling up. "Come 
back a minute; we have another proposition." 

Howard and Manning, pale and thin, were 
brought into the jailer's office and all were seated 
for a general consultation. Avery, who had 
watched the working of events and thought a 
culmination near, walked in and joined the crowd. 
Zack Brassley edged through the door and took a 
chah- near Felix, to the evident discomfort of the 
young parson. 

"We ought to send for Colonel Hughley," 
said Howard. 

"He 's out of town," answered Felix, prompted 
by Brassley. 

Streeter was very nervous; he shuffled about 
the room, tried to appear busy and preoccupied, 
and twitched the wrinkles of his face into count- 
less grotesque forms. Felix was spokesman, and 
he launched, without apology or preliminary, into 
the business of the occasion. 

" We are all friends and can get to a settlement 
in a few moments, I am sure. Howard and Man- 
ning Lewis can walk out of here free men, on 
one condition." But nobody present seemed to 
have any curiosity. No one spoke. 

"On one condition, I said," he continued, 
somewhat disappointed with the small show of 



When Rogues Fall Out 305 

interest his first statement had created. "That 
condition is the surrender of the negro Pleas, and 
the return of Lieutenant Brassley's musket." 

"Two conditions to that deal, " said Manning 
Lewis, quickly. 

"Very well, on two conditions, then," said 
Felix, a little annoyed by the coolness of Manning. 

' ' Well, Manning, we '11 go back to Number 6. 
Have a pitcher of ice-water sent up to the rear 
parlor, over the kitchen, second floor, known to 
history as Number 6, please, Mr. Sheriff," said 
Howard, without looking up. He seemed to have 
little confidence in the proceedings. 

' ' Why not surrender the nigger ? ' ' asked 
Brassley. 

Howard turned his gaze from the floor and fixed 
it on Brassley, as he said: " Because, in the first 
place. Pleas is not a nigger; in the second place, 
I don't know where he is; in the third place, if 1 
did know I would rot in jail before I would give 
him up to you. Do you know where Pleas is, 
Father?" 

" I do not. I have not seen Pleas nor heard 
from him, directly nor indirectly, these last nine 
months." 

" Give up my musket, then, " persisted Brassley. 

"We haven't it," said Colonel Grayson. 

"Who has?" 

"It is in the safe keeping of a good and trusty 
man ; one who is exempt from barbarous search, ' ' 
said Colonel Grayson. Avery winced. "That 
was not intended for a personal remark. Captain 
Avery; I only wanted to let Mr. Brassley under- 
stand that his musket was beyond his power to re- 

20 



306 In the Wake of War 

claim, for the present, " Colonel Grayson continued, 
when he noticed that his first statement had made 
the wrong effect on Avery. 

" Hit 's my gun, my property, an' I want hit," 
persisted Brassley. 

"It now is evidence, and the demands of jus- 
tice rise above property rights. You will get it, 
safe and sound, after it has served the needs of 
justice," answered Colonel Grayson, calmly. 

" I don't know about that. Colonel Grayson," 
said Manning. "He abandoned the gun — threw 
it away — and Howard found it. Seems to me it 
is our property. We want it as a souvenir, if we 
ever get out." 

" You ought to pay a reasonable price for it, 
then," said Colonel Grayson. 

' ' Can't we arrive at some arrangement by which 
these boys may go home ? What would you sug- 
gest. Captain Avery?" asked Felix. 

"Nothing, I believe," answered Avery, who 
had a scheme of his own. 

" What will you suggest. Brother Rodeny ? " 

"A fair trial." 

"And you. Brother Streeter ?" asked Felix, 
quickly, to cover his brother's answer. 

"The costs ought to be paid, and these prison- 
ers released." 

" What say you, Howard ? " 

" Number 6, and ice-water," answered Howard. 

" And you. Lieutenant Lewis? " 

"This talk makes me sick," said Manning. 

"Lieutenant Brassley ? " called Felix. 

"They oughter give me my gun, or be hanged; 
them is my opinions." 



When Rogues Fall Out 307 

Howard and Manning laughed heartily at the 
savage sentence of the late negro- beater. 

' ' You are pretty severe, Lieutenant, Can noth- 
ing else be done ? " asked Felix, looking from one 
to another, until he saw Mary Lou, who sat erect 
and defiant between her father and brother, holding 
an arm of each. "Can't we make this young 
lady happy by the release of her brother and 
friend. Brother Streeter ? ' ' 

The face of the sheriff twitched and wrinkled a 
minute, and then he said: " The costs will have to 
be paid," 

"This is a great disappointment to me," said 
Felix, in affected despair. "I honestly hoped 
that they would walk out before this, free men. 
The State officers, from the Governor down, have 
refused to interfere. The local officers can not 
see their way clear to dismiss. Well, well, we 
shall have to invent new expedients." 

"Take the prisoners to their cell," commanded 
Streeter. 

"Good-bye, Little Sister, Come to see me 
every day at Number 6. Don't forget the num- 
ber," said Howard, cheerfully, and he kissed her 
again and again. Poor Mary Lou! The tears 
that had started in the morning had not all flowed 
out; with this new disappointment, the worst of 
all, she broke down and wept pitifully. 

"Don't weep. Little Sister, or I shall make 
a show of myself. You shall see me every day; 
and sometime, some day, I shall be free — free 
without conditions. Then we shall be happy 
again. Give my regards to enquiring friends." 

The jailer was drumming impatiently with his 



3D8 In the Wake of War 



great ii'on key on the door that he held open, and 
Howard and Manning started to go. As they 
were leaving the room both turned to say a final 
farewell, when they saw the outside door open 
and Anton Nelson enter. Both stopped to say 
''howdy." 

"This is a pleasant party, only for Miss Mary 
Lou's tears. Mr. Sheriff, Felix Grayson, Brass- 
ley, whoever is responsible for the suffering of 
this sweet girl can not be adequately punished. 
These young men are soldiers, they complain at 
nothing; but the man who causes one tear to stain 
these beautiful cheeks, is a fiend. I am not an 
office-holder nor an office-seeker, and can speak 
my sentiments, so long as I have the personal 
courage. Here, Mr. Sheriff, are papers that will 
break up this little party." 

Sheriff Streeter wiped his spectacles with the 
lining of his coat-tails, and then read: — 

' ' To the Captain of the County Guards, 

Kosciusko. 
I 'm tired of being cat-hauled about that Smith case. 
Twice I have asked to have it set for trial, but Feder- 
als interfered. Have Attorney-General set it for trial 
immediately — the very next case — or dismiss on 
receipt of this. Simon, 

Governor. ' ' 

"Decide right now, no more deviltry, or I will 
take the evening train to Nashville," said Mr. 
Nelson, fiercely. 

"I can't dismiss; that's the Attorney-Gen- 
eral's business," said Streeter. 

"But you know whether he intends to try it 
or not," interposed Mr. Nelson. 



When Rogues Fall Out 309 

"He'll dismiss, I guess." 

"Just what we have been working for all the 
time," put in Felix. 

"One word!" said Mr. Nelson, angrily. 
" But for the infamous opposition of three men 
in Kosciusko, two of whom are here present, and 
the third is yet unknown to me, this order would 
have come months ago. I never asked for more 
than a trial or a dismissal; the other thi'ee de- 
manded delay. Their motives were probably 
known to themselves; the work they did was 
damnable. Colonel Grayson, you may be able to 
put two and two together and the result will be 
the schemes that prompted these three persons. 
In one case, it was money; in the other, I don't 
know what, because I don't know who did the 
underhanded work. How long shall our party be 
disgraced by such sneaking business! " 

"I can not thank you, Anton," said Colonel 
Grayson, taking Mr. Nelson's hand. Again the 
sun shone tlirough the clouds, for Mary Lou was 
laughing through her tears as she showered bless- 
ings on the head of the honest Kadical. 

" You don't accuse me, do you, Brother Nel- 
son? " asked Felix, patronizingly. 

" I have called no names," was the reply. 

"Wall, I arrest thet nigger on sight," roared 
Zack Brassley, as the only outlet for his rage. 

" Not until you get your musket, if you know 
what 's good for yourself," said Howard. 

Brassley had forgotten that feature of the case, 
but on being reminded of it, suddenly remem- 
bered a business appointment and bolted the 
party without another word. 



XXVII 

The Freedman Becomes a Striker 

IN no other part of this continent are the four 
seasons so definitely marked as in the Middle 
Southern States. Here spring is the delightful 
season of bud and bloom: three months of new 
life and fresh growth. The migratory birds come 
with chirp and song to await the tardy break from 
winter to summer, in the North. This splendor 
of nature was at its full; the buds were open; 
corn and cotton showed bright green rows that 
fluttered and rustled in the breeze. 

Colonel Grayson, like other planters, had hired 
such hands as he could get from the Freedmen's 
Bureau. Two were by the month, at fixed wages 
for the crop season; three were at work on the 
shares system. Contracts, with a great display of 
pen-flourish and sealing wax, were executed and 
deposited with the guardian Bureau. With these 
laborers, a portion of the wide, rich bottom 
adjoining the Opal was in corn and cotton that 
showed a promising growth; it seemed as if the 
soil were making an intelligent efl'ort to reclaim 
its character from the disgrace of four years of 
weeds and foul stufl's. 

Howard Grayson went straight home after his 
liberation. That same night Pleas came and 
knocked at the back door. When the door was 
opened, he grinned, said " Good-evenin'," and 
started for his room, as if he had been away 



The Freedman Becomes a Striker 311 

only for a day. He had not been seen there 
since he went with Mary Lou to meet the young 
gentlemen, nine months before, although the 
horse he rode away had been found in Mr. 
Dodge's pasture three days after the ambuscade. 

The next morning Howard took the field to 
superintend the work and help the day hands. 
His presence and enthusiasm gave new zest, and 
everything moved merrily. He did not say, 
"Go;" he said, " Come on, boys." The pace he 
set proved too liot for the negroes, after their 
idleness of a year about the Bureau; in less than 
a week's time the two day hands took sick. Doc- 
tor Anderson was called in, and after an examina- 
tion pronounced both to be afflicted with ' ' spring 
fever." The sun had warmed their blood, and 
had developed in each a chronic laziness of 
malignant type. The doctor prescribed steady, 
moderate work; but the men refused the remedy. 

The infection spread; the share hands quickly 
followed the example of their brethren, and to- 
gether they spent half of their time lounging 
about Kosciusko. The cotton was at that period 
of growth that required constant attention; weeds 
covered the ground between the rows; a few more 
days of neglect and the crop would be ruined. 

Colonel Grayson took Doctor Anderson and 
went to the Freedmen's Bureau to make complaint. 
The doctor made a statement regarding the phys- 
ical condition of the negroes. The agent listened 
patiently, looked wise, and invited Colonel Gray- 
son into his private office. 

"This is a hurrying time of the year, Mr. 
Grayson ? " asked the agent, with a knowing look. 



312 In the Wake of War 



' ' Yes, sir, very. ' ' 

"I'm told that unless cotton has good care 
now, it will be a failure." 

' ' Weeds have so thoroughly taken our soil dur- 
ing the past four years that they grow quickly. 
The ground must be tilled constantly for a month, 
or we shall get no crop," answered Colonel 
Grayson. 

" Cotton is ticklish stuff to raise, anyway, isn't 
it ? " asked the agent. 

' ' With us it requires more tending than in the 
sections farther south. ' ' 

' ' Your name is Grayson ? Yes, Colonel Gray- 
son, " said the agent, in a vei'y friendly manner. 
" I will look over your contracts." And he sent 
for the documents. After reading the five care- 
fully, although they were exactly alike, except for 
name, he said: " I can arrange this for you with- 
out further trouble. I '11 ask you to send the nig- 
gers to see me," he continued, writing down the 
name of each on a tablet. 

" I surely am obliged to you, sir," said Colonel 
Grayson, rising to go. 

"That's very good. Colonel, but not quite 
enough," answered the agent, without looking up 
from his writing. " Here 's a little bill that you 
will please pay. ' ' And he handed out the paper 
on which he had written: — 

Col. Grayson 

To James Bragg, Dr. 

Consultation and work on 5 labor contracts 

$25.00. 

Colonel Grayson dropped into his chair. 
"You look surprised. Well, my friend, that 



The Freedman Becomes a Striker 313 

is II just and honest bill. My duties are clearly 
defined by law. I have to make contracts and 
keep them on file for reference; but keeping 
niggers at work is another thing." 

' ' I have no means of enforcing these contracts. 
You are the guardian of these colored people and 
ought, in fairness, to see that they live up to their 
agreements. Besides, I have taken little of your 
time," protested Colonel Grayson. 

"Oh I can't work for nothing; my time is 
valuable. I 'm busy from morning to night on 
just such cases as yours." 

' ' Can not I get other hands to take the place 
of these? " asked Colonel Grayson. 

"If you did you'd have to pay these niggers 
for the full season ; that would be my ruling, ' ' said 
Bragg, with all the assurance of a man of un- 
limited power. " It ' s cheaper to keep these at 
work; don't you see? " 

"I have not so much money with me; and 
what little I have, was to be used in buying food 
for my family, I shall have to raise the money, 
sir. ' ' 

"Never mind the money to-day, then; but it's 
no pay, no work, Colonel. How much have you 
in your pocket ? ' ' asked Bragg, coldly. 

Colonel Grayson counted out six dollars; he 
thought, from former experience, that the ofiicer 
would be content with what he could get. 

"Well, I'll give you credit for six dollars on 
account," said Bragg, taking the money and 
making the entry. 

"May I trouble you for a receipt? " 

"When the bill is paid, I'll receipt it. I don't 



314- In the Wake of War 

do an installment business; cash, strictly cash. 
When the bill is paid, the niggers will go to 
work. ' ' 

Colonel Grajson went home, called on his 
banker, Uncle Phil, who raised the necessary 
amount from the bed of Opal Creek, and the bill 
was paid. 

The next morning all the negroes were at work, 
but with a sulkiness of temper that promised no 
permanent good. Howard affected not to see 
this, and led off with all the force he could com- 
mand. After the day in the field, all the negroes 
trudged to Kosciusko to attend a meeting of the 
League, or to join in noisy frolics in the streets. 
These nightly brawls had come to alarm even the 
Federal officers, and for some time had been the 
terror of the citizens; for the black men had not 
contented themselves with story and song and 
laughter, their usual entertainment, but had come 
to make night hideous with cursing, shouting, 
and firing of pistols and muskets. 

That night the house of Mr. Sutton, a neighbor 
of the Graysons, was burned, and the family 
escaped with their lives, only. It had been fired 
from the outside, in four different places. The 
whole community was aroused and assembled 
about the conflagration. 

When all was done, and the fire had reduced 
the comfortable home to a mass of red cinders, a 
knot of neighbors collected in a corner of the yard 
and fell to discussing the event. It was a chance 
meeting; the same over-ruling Chance decreed 
that there should be only five persons present, and 
that these five should be young men. 



The Freedman Becomes a Striker 315 

From the misfortune of Mr. Sutton, and the 
probable perpetrators, it was but a step to the 
daily chapter of outrages. Then and there a com- 
mittee of two was appointed to wait on the Fed- 
eral and local authorities to ask that the nocturnal 
orgies of the negroes be stopped. Each of the 
five engaged as a committee of one to ascertain if 
possible what truth was in the rumor then current, 
that speeches had been made in the Union 
League tending to incite the colored men to 
crime. The following night was the regular 
weekly meeting of the League, and in order to 
give all an opportunity to report fully, it was 
agreed that these five persons should meet on the 
second evening on the Bluff. 

All this was the work of a few minutes; for 
while there had been no previous consultations, 
the subject had been forced upon the people so 
often and so fearfully, that all had given it mature 
deliberation and were ready to act. 



XXVill 

An Explanation 

THE day following that on which Howard and 
Manning were discharged, Captain Avery 
rode out to Elmington. Colonel Grayson and 
Mary Lou were just back from the field where 
they had gone to see how the work progressed, 
and had taken chairs in the veranda. 

"'Light and tie,' as they say at the country 
store," said Colonel Grayson. "Pleas will come 
directly and give your horse better attention." 

"Thank you; I can stay only a few minutes, 
and Pomp will do nicely tied to this limb." 

" Can not you stay and have supper with us, 
Captain Avery? " asked Colonel Grayson. " Our 
family circle is complete again, and we are in an 
unusually hospitable mood. You see, Captain, 
we do not know how long we shall be undisturbed. 
Howard, or I, or both, for that matter, may be in 
jail before another sun; hence we must enjoy the 
moments of freedom while we have them." 

"Thank you, again, but I can't stay this even- 
ing," said Avery. " Is Captain Grayson about ? " 

" In the field, showing the negroes how to do a 
day's work." 

" I rather expected to see him, and hoped he 
would be present to hear the statement I want to 
make to you and Miss Grayson regarding the 
remarks of Mr. Nelson yesterday. Did you think 
he referred to me in any way ? " 

316 



An Explanation 317 

"For myself, Captain Avery, I could not 
understand what Anton meant. It did not seem 
possible that you could have been alluded to, so 
I just gave the whole matter up. As for the 
other persons referred to — well, that is nothing." 

"I was making every effort possible to secure 
the release of your son and Lieutenant Lewis; but 
I wanted the discharge to come from those who 
had started the disgrace; they ought to have been 
forced to let the young men go. I thought it 
could be done, and was working to get the local 
officers into such a corner that they would have to 
lie down. They were working to checkmate me; 
and by superior cheek, beat me; although I had 
them pretty well tied up when Mr. Nelson came 
in with the much-sought document." 

' ' We are grateful for every honest effort made 
in our behalf. The effort, not the result, ought 
to measure our gratitude," said Colonel Grayson. 

' ' I did not know that Mr. Nelson was doing 
anything in the case," said Avery. 

' ' Nor did we, until he burst into our presence 
with the papers in his hand. But that is Anton's 
way; he never advertises his benefactions, al- 
though his life has been full of them." 

' ' But I am disappointed at not having whipped 
those Kosciusko officers. I did n't want them to 
give up voluntarily; I wanted to drive them to do 
it. Had I known that Mr. Nelson was at work 
on the case, I might have joined forces with him 
to good results. As it was, I fear we were work- 
ing at cross-purposes, without either of us know- 
ing it." 

' ' We appreciate your efforts, Captain Avery, 



318 In the Wake of War 

and believe them sincere, ' ' said Mary Lou. ' ' And 
I appreciate your desire to annihilate your polit- 
ical associates. They seemed to think yesterday, 
after all was over, that you were somewhat under 
a cloud, and manifested much satisfaction. They 
are strange persons." 

" I know they did; and I feared that you would 
misunderstand my position. But the same splen- 
did generosity that has excused every act of my 
official and personal stupidity is still extended. 
Is there no limit to it. Colonel Grayson?" 
Avery had prepared this speech with great care, 
and felt easier after he had delivered himself 
of it. 

"You flatter us. Captain Avery," Colonel 
Grayson answered, quickly. "It is the time- 
honored custom of the Southern people both to 
make and to break friendships slowly. You are 
simply the creature of our custom. That you 
like it, is another evidence of your good taste, 
and of our discretion in taking you into our good 
graces. Daughter, can not you persuade Captain 
Avery to share our snack ? " 

' ' I shall be very happy to do so ; and if he is 
in a hurry, I will go to the kitchen and help. 
Howard will be disappointed if he does not see 
you. Captain Avery." 

"You are very kind; but I must return to 
town at once," said Avery, looking at his watch. 

" Always in a hurry ! " sighed Mary Lou, with 
mock gravity. 

"Not to go from this house. How we are 
misunderstood ! I have taken weeks from duty, 
to sit in the light of your smile." 



An Explanation 319 

"Have you all that time charged up against 
me? " asked Mary Lou. 

"At regular wages — one dollar per day." 

" Oh, Father, we are banki-upt ! Did you ever 
see such greed ? Oh, these Yankees, these Yan- 
kees ! I reckon you will give the claim to your 
Brother Streeter for collection ? " 

"I would love to collect it myself." 

"What shall I say. Father? I can't pay, 
I " 

"You had better repudiate," suggested Colonel 
Grayson. 

"Oh, yes, that's the word. I repudiate, Cap- 
tain Avery. Will you stay to supper, now ? " 

"Thank you, again, I must leave this minute. 
I hope to have the pleasure of pressing my claim 
at some later day." 

"I repudiate, I warn you. I 've learned a new 
word, and shall use it." 



XXIX 

Which Shows That Although the Ethiopian Can 

NOT Change His Skin, the Caucasian May 

Change His Color 

ON their way home from the fire, Howard asked 
Pleas about the character of the speeches he 
was hearing at the League; the negro liad resumed 
his membership with the organization and was a 
regular attendant on its meetings. 

"I caint tell yo' nothin', Mars Howard; I is 
swore to keep secrets. But hit am my 'pinion 
mo' houses be bu'nt; dat am my 'pinion, suh." 

" I don't ask you to break your oath of secrecy, 
Pleas, but we ought to know what is being plotted 
against us. Of course you are watching, but how 
can I find out, for sure ? ' ' 

"Asy 'nough, if yo' was a nigger," answered 
Pleas, curiously 

" But I am mighty near white, especially since 
I was in jail." 

"Caint yo' black up?" asked Pleas. "Yo' 
useter play de nigger." 

" Can you pass me in, if I do ? " 

" Mebbe." 

"How, boy? " 

" I tole de outen guard I bring a frien' to-mor- 
rer evenin'," answered Pleas, easily. 

" Will you give me the signs and pass- words? " 

' ' Naw, suh. Mars Howard ; I swore to keep 
secrets. ' ' 

320 



The Caucasian May Change His Color 321 

" How can I get in, then ? " 

Pleas was silent for a moment, and then he said: 
" Yo' gits Miss Mary Lou to paint yo'; paint yo' 
face, an' han's, an' arms, an' ears, an naick, all 
brown — yo' be brown-skin nigger. Yas, suh, a 
brown-skin nigger. Den yo' gits de pass-wu'd, 
raebbe. ' ' 

" When is all this to be done. Pleas ? " 

" To-morrer evenin', right soon arfter da'k. 
Yo' gits shet of Mars Rodeny; Miss Mary Lou 
paints yo'." 

A negro man had arrived at Elmington the next 
morning after Pleas had made his reappearance. 
He was introduced by the latter as a friend from 
Arkansas, and was so received, although there 
were plenty of reasons to doubt that Pleas had 
crossed the Mississippi River during his absence. 
This stranger made himself at home; helped about 
the little jobs of rebuilding with which the old 
servant puttered; came and went as if he had been 
born and brought up on the plantation. 

The next evening, Howard complained of being 
tired, and when supper was over, made an excuse 
that sent Colonel Grayson to Mr. Dodge's to 
borrow some trifling article for the work. 

The blackening of Howard's face, hands, and 
arms was soon finished; and as it was now quite 
dark he made straight to Pleas's cabin, for the 
negro had abandoned his room in the house, and 
had patched up a cabin in the quarters, on the 
advent of his friend. Howard gave five knocks 
on the door, as he had been instructed to do. A 
voice from within said: " Hark yo', Pleas; a brud- 
der knock." Then it called out: " For'd, brudder, 



322 In the Wake of War 

an' give de pass-wu'd." But Pleas opened the 
door carelessly, and said: "Evenin', brudder 
Sam. How is yo' dis evenin' ? " 

" Tol'able, thank yo'," answered the blackened 
man from the shadow. 

" Come in, brudder Sam. How is yo, folks; I 
heard dey was ailin' ? ' ' 

" Mis'able, br'er Pleas, jes' mis'able, " an- 
swered Howard, stepping inside. " My ole woman 
am jes' seek; not zactly bed-seek, but ailin' an' 
mis^able. Caint eat nothin' but spoon- victuals." 

"Mighty bad," said Pleas, sympathetically. 

" Brudder Eli, from Arkansas," he continued by 
way of introduction. They bowed, said "even- 
in'," and shook hands. Howard noticed a pecul- 
iar pressure of the hand, and returned it. Tlie 
stranger seemed not the least embarrassed, and 
began to talk volubly about the League. 

"We tuck a drap, brudder Sam; hevone?" 
said Pleas, holding up a jug, at which Howard 
understood the free and easy behavior of the man 
from Arkansas. 

' Thank yo', br'er Pleas, doan min'. Mighty 
proud if my ole woman hed dis liquor. Do her 
a power o' good. I is mightily fear'd she die 
out." 

Pleas gave his friend from Arkansas a big 
drink, and sat the jug by his side. The room 
was almost dark; a few coals smouldering in the 
chimney, where the negroes had cooked their 
supper, gave just light enough so that Eli could 
see the jug. Little was said for some minutes, 
but the member from Arkansas took several 
drinks. 



The Caucasian May Change His Color 323 

"I mus' go to de stable, gen'lemen," said 
Pleas, when his friend had reached a condition 
suitable to his plan. " Brudder Eli, 'struct brudder 
Sam in de pass-wu'd, 'ginst I come back. He 
go 'long dis evenin'." 

Eli was mellow and confidential, and was fast 
approaching a maudlin state. Not content with 
repeating the pass-word a score of times, he held 
Howard's hand with the grip of the order, until 
the effect of the liquor caused his muscles to relax. 
He worked heroically, went through the ceremony 
of initiation, opening, closing, and installation. 
By the time Pleas returned, the member from 
Arkansas was mumbling the pass-word, but could 
not raise the jug to his mouth. 

"Come, brudder Eli," cried Pleas, "we mus' 
be goan ." But Eli only struggled to give the 
pass-word again; he could not move. 

"We puts him to baid," said Pleas, beginning 
to undress the drunken negro. 

"This is not right, Pleas," said Howard, for- 
getting his disguise, and thinking only of the trick. 

"Dat's what I tells 'im. De fool nigger git 
drunk err time liquor am 'roun'. Looks like he 
caint leave hit be." And Pleas rolled the insen- 
sible negro into the bed. 

" Git into dese pants an' overcoat, right quick. " 
Howard responded with great energy. 

"Won't he come to, Pleas?" asked Howard, 
anxiously. 

"Not fo' a week; dat am sutler's whisky, 
brudder Sam. One dram dat liquor good fo' fo' 
drunks. Now we go." Pleas stopped suddenly. 
" Yo' knows de pass-wu'd ? " he asked. 



324 In the Wake of War 

" Yes, Pleas." 

" I nerr tole yo' ? " 

"No." 

Howard put his hand into a pocket of the trous- 
ers and pulled out something. He held it before 
the dying embers. 

" Fo' de Lawd ! " cried Pleas, "a rabbit's foot! 
Jaub hit back in yo' pocket, briidder Sam; we go 
clean through dis evenin', an' no mistake. Yo' 
am brudder Eli, now; not brudder Sam. Nerr 
was Sam ; always Eli. Eli, from Arkansas. 
Wasn't yo', Eli? " said Pleas. 

"I reckons I was, br'er Pleas," Howard an- 
swered. 



XXX 

What Eli Saw and Heard 

WHEN they reached the place where the regu- 
lar weekly meetings of the League were held, 
a large schoolhouse on the outskirts of Kosciusko, 
they were met several yards from the entrance by 
pickets who demanded the pass-word. Howard 
whispered it in the ear of the negro outpost, gave 
him the grip, and passed on with Fleas. At the 
door they were challenged again, and the perform- 
ance was repeated. 

Inside the room was a large crowd, although 
the hour was rather early. Nearly all were 
negroes. A few white men jostled about in the 
gathering, talking, shaking hands, and playing the 
agreeable with their colored brethren. Prominent 
among these was Felix Grayson. But the parson 
never would have recognized the round-shoul- 
dered, shy, black man, dressed in an old Federal 
uniform, and wearing a bandage over his left eye, 
as his nephew. 

Pleas led the way into a far corner and gave 
Howard the advantage of the darkest place. 
This precaution was hardly necessary, for the 
room was lighted by a tallow candle on the speak- 
er's table, at the front end, near the door; its 
faint rays scarcely penetrated to where they sat. 
There was a great hubbub; negroes were pushing 
and hauling each other, talking loudly and laugh- 
ing boisterously. 

825 



326 In the Wake of War 

Presently, a big black man rapped for order, 
and reasonable quiet prevailed. All that could 
be accommodated on the benches and chairs, sat; 
others stood up around the wall. This was a 
further advantage to Howard, for a negro stood 
between him and the flaring candle, rendering his 
position quite dark, 

Felix Grayson was asked to open the moeting 
with prayer. He responded in a wordy appeal to 
Divine autocracy for assistance in scourging the 
native white man from the South, that the black 
brother might occupy it in peace. In conclusion 
he said: ''Even as Thou didst sustain the Chil- 
dren of Israel, after Thou hadst delivered them 
from bondage in Egypt, to make war on and 
drive out the Canaanites from the Promised 
Land." The " Amens " and other evidences of 
approval that followed this invocation were deaf- 
ening; they showed to the one interested specta- 
tor that his uncle had made a strong impression 
on the audience. Pleas evidently took to another 
opinion, for he whispered: " Pa'son pray dat 
same way err evenin'; but I doan see de Lawd 
a-comin'. " 

The routine work of the society was then per- 
formed with fair precision; this was followed by 
an open order in which speeches v/ere made. It 
looked as if one-half of the negroes present were 
determined to be heard, and all at once. They 
stood on benches, shouting and gesticulating. 
They cursed the chairman, cursed each other, and 
seemed on the verge of a general knock-dov/n. 
This performance lasted for half an hour, and 
when the froth had escaped, some of the more 



What Eli Saw and Heard 327 

sober heads gained the attention of the presiding 
officer and spoke. Several of them referred to 
the biTrning of Mr. Sutton's house as a warning to 
the white folks. One quoted from a speech that 
had been made at a previous meeting by a white 
man, who, Pleas said, was a travelling peddler. 
This man imparted the information that ' ' matches 
were only five cents a box. ' ' The repetition of 
this menace called forth cheers and hisses — the 
house was divided — for the more rational negroes 
had seen the effect of the threat and plainly dep- 
recated it. 

As the session drew to a close, Felix arose and 
announced an important meeting of the " Inner 
Circle," urging those present who belonged to it 
to remain. Howard gave to Pleas an enquiring 
look; the latter turned his face to the ceiling and 
then nodded his head. Howard looked upward; 
directly above where they were sitting was a 
square opening in the attic, not more than eight 
feet from the floor. " Asy 'nough, brudder Eli; 
yas, suh," Pleas said, aloud. 

The negroes were now moving toward the door, 
in anticipation of the closing of the meeting, but 
Howard and Pleas sat quietly. When the chair- 
man announced the adjournment, Pleas stepped 
quickly to a little yellow negro, whom Howard 
recognized as the mischievous son of Aunt Har- 
riet, whispered in his ear, nudged him in the side, 
and laughed. The boy shot through the crowd 
toward the table; in an instant the candle was 
out, and the surging mass was shouting, laughing 
and cursing. 

After inciting this mischief. Pleas was back in a 



328 In the Wake of War 

flash, and whispered : "Come, quick, brudderEli ! " 
And grasping Howard in his arms as if he were 
yet a child, the burly negro lifted him from the 
floor and held him aloft. Although astonished by 
the wonderful sagacity of his servant, the young 
man did not neglect to find the scuttle hole, 
quickly draw himself through and lie down on the 
loose planks that formed the floor of the attic. 
Before the light was made. Pleas had elbowed 
his way toward the door and was lost in the 
crowd. Outside there was a great disturbance: 
singing, shouting, cursing, and tiring of pistols. 
Before the noise subsided, Howard adjusted him- 
self to the rough floor, and as soon as there was 
a light, moved so that he could watch the pro- 
ceedings through a huge crack. 

All left the house but Felix and two negroes. 
Presently, Sheriff Streeter appeared; he was soon 
followed by the agent for the Freedmen's Bureau, 
Bragg; Provost-Marshal Samson, Squire Witan, 
and the Clerk of the County. " To your stations, 
guards,"" commanded Mr. Bragg; the two negroes 
went outside. Another candle was produced and 
lighted; Mr. Bragg took the chair and called for 
order. 

' ' Mr. Clerk, please read your report, ' ' said 
the chairman. 

The clerk read from a pass-book that he took 
from his pocket: "Collected from marriage li- 
censes, one hundred and twenty dollars; thirty 
dollars from new, ninety dollars from re-marriages 
— all niggers. Ninety dollars to divide." And 
he read off the names of about fifty couples, who, 
like Uncle Phil and Aunt Manda, had been 



What Eli Saw and Heard 329 

adjudged by the Business Administration to be 
illegally wedded. The fees collected in these 
cases ranged from twenty-five cents to four dol- 
lars, each. Anything and all they could get. 

"Anything else?" asked the chairman. 

" Peddler's licenses, two hundred dollars. The 
law calls for ten dollars in each instance; eight 
licenses at ten dollars each, eighty dollars; but I 
got twenty-five dollars each, two hundred dollars 
— one hundred and twenty to divide. Cases dis- 
missed by me, three; costs collected on them, 
two hundred and thirty-nine dollars — one hun- 
dred and fifteen, seventy-fiv^e, and forty-nine, jast 
as I could catch 'em. That 's all, Mr. Chair- 
man. Ninety, one hundred and twenty, and two 
hundred and thirty-nine, makes four hundred and 
forty-nine; pretty good week." They all assented 
to the concluding statement of the clerk. 

" Very good, but we must manage to sell more 
licenses. Lawyers, doctors, dentists, preachers, 
school-teachers, and a lot more ought to pay for 
their privileges," said the chairman. 

"Have to get a new statute, I guess," put in 
the clerk, 

"We will look out for that later. Sheriff 
Streeter, what have you to offer?" 

"Settled twenty-three cases; got three hundred 
and ninety-six dollars and fifty-seven cents," 
answered the sheriff. 

"Did any of those twenty-three fellows carry 
anything away?" asked the chairman. 

"Not a cent, brethren," said the sheriff, mak- 
ing grim facial distortions. "That fifty-seven 
cents item," be continued, "was from a widow- 



330 In the Wake of War 

woman. She had living with her an old nigger 
wench about a hundred years old; I caught the 
old woman gathering firewood, and took them 
in. Well, the poor woman had only fifty-seven 
cents in money and a pailful of tears, so Judge 
Witan and I let her ofl' with that." Howard 
looked at Felix's face during this recital; it 
showed full appreciation of the sheriffs humor. 

"Squire Witan," called the chairman. 

"I doan reckon I hev anything to say, please 
yore honor," answered the nuigistrate. "I an' 
Sheriff Streeter is podners — we wucks tergether, 
han' in han'. I taxes the cos', an' he gits the 
money; so, in reason, I am 'titled to half the 
credit on his report. Thet widder-woman felt 
powerfu' bad, an' I almos' got sorry fo' her; but 
we got the money jest the same." There was a 
general laugh at the squire's rehash of the sher- 
iff's joke. 

"Mr. Samson, what can you tell us about your- 
self ? " asked the chairman. 

" I have no money to divide, Mr. Chairman, 
but my work helps the good cause along. Every 
Rebel in this section of the country has taken the 
oath of allegiance, or I know the reason why. I 
keep after them in spite of Avery, and this nag- 
ging keeps them mellow. They are getting so 
that they don't want any truck with us, and pay 
assessments without asking questions. My depart- 
ment is keeping up its end." A smile of assent 
was visible on every countenance, and Howard, 
in the attic, made mental acknowledgment of 
the force of the Marshal's argument. 

"We appreciate your services, Brother Sam- 



What Eli Saw and Heard 331 

son. United effort is what tells in politics," said 
the chairman. " Now for my department: I have 
revised one hundred and three labor contracts, for 
which I have received eight hundred and forty- 
three dollars." And the chairman straightened 
himself proudly, as he threw down the account 
book. "Here are the names. Our agents and 
spies have reported more than sixty plantations 
on which there has yet been no strike. Tell us 
what progress you are making, Brother Grayson, 
toward getting the niggers on these places sick? " 

"There will be a strike on each of a dozen 
places to-morrow, and others will follow fast 
enough. I shall arrange for this later to-night; 
everything is going well, " answered the parson, 
in the most matter-of-fact manner. 

' ' Have all of you seen the Governor's new 
proclamation?" asked Streeter. 

"What's it about ?" enquired the chairman. 

" In effect that troops, meaning County Guards 
and negro militia, will not be punished for any- 
thing they do to Rebels. ' ' 

"Not bad for us," said Samson. 

"Well, brethren, we will divide the receipts of 
the week," said Mr. Bragg. " Fourteen hundred 
eight-eight dollars and fifty-seven cents, is that 
right, Brother Grayson ? " 

"Check," answered Felix. 

"Anybody in on this, except ourselves?" 
asked Mr. Bragg. 

"Doan fo'git the Jedge of the Circuit Cote, 
Brother Bragg, " put in Squire Witan. 

"Nor the Attorney-General," admonished 
Streeter. 



332 In the Wake of War 

Each person received his share by a fixed scale; 
the Agent of the Freednien's Bureau took for 
himself thirty per cent of the total. 

"Now, brethren, we can talk better," said Mr. 
Bragg, "for each has good money in his pocket. 
There are several things that ought to be consid- 
ered. We are doing pretty well; but we ought 
to be doing ten times better. Look at this rich 
county, and then think of our possibilities! Other 
offices must be made productive; more privileges 
must be paid for; contracts ought to be let. There 
is practically no limit to our opportunities. Beats 
preaching, do n't it. Brothers Streeter and Gray- 
son ? " 

" I like it better," answered the sheriff, his face 
going wrong in every feature. 

"I feel that I am still doing God's service," 
said Felix, piously. 

" ' God helps him who helps himself,' is a safe 
and holy maxim, in my opinion," said the chair- 
man. "So, if we want to get the full benefit of 
Divine assistance, wo must help ourselves a little 
more. Thei-e are a tliousand ways of turning 
money that we have not thought of yet. In the 
meantime, do n't stop deviling the Rebels. As 
Brother Samson says, this pestering keeps them 
mellow. Another fire would n't hurt. Why, a 
committee of these Johnnies came to-day to see 
me about keeping the niggers in at night. They 
will pay us for that, yet. As soon as I have gone 
over the contracts, we will have another strike all 
around. Ought to have four or five before cotton 
is picked. I believe we can manage to keep these 
fellows shelling out money the balance of the 
year." 



What Eli Saw and Heard 333 

"But, Brother Bragg, don't you think this sort 
of thing will eventually make us enemies ? " asked 
Streeter. 

" What do we care for enemies ? " 

"I mean, in the North, Won't the North 
hear of this persecution and withdraw its sup- 
port ? " 

"Not while we have the newspaper men on 
our side. The word has been passed up and 
down the line: 'Take care of the newspaper 
man.' Our correspondent is all right. He sent 
off to-day a fresh batch about southern outrages. 
We have nothing to fear from that quarter. " And 
Mr. Bragg dismissed the matter with a wave of 
his hand. 

"How about election, Mi-. Chairman?" asked 
the sheriff, who liked his job well. 

"We will discuss that at a later meeting. 
Election does not come until the middle of 
August, and we shall have lots of time. More 
money is the question now. Our officers are 
doing well ; all we shall have to consider is the 
legislative ticket. We must send men to Nash- 
ville who will give us more privileges. We must 
levy more taxes, and sell more licenses. Then 
contracts ! New bridges, new roads, perhaps 
railroads! There is no limit, gentlemen ! " and 
the chairman became enthusiastic over the pros- 
pect. "Is there anything more, brethren?" 

" I have a secret meeting to attend, as soon as 
this adjourns," said Felix. 

"Then we stand adjourned for a week; and 
during that time let's keep things stirred up — ■ 
make some things hot. Brother Grayson." 



XXXI 

The Secret Conclave 

THE lights were blown out; those who had par- 
ticipated in the profitable session of the 
"Inner Circle" left the room, one by one. 
Howard sat upright and stretched his arms and 
legs; the position and quiet in M^hich he had been 
compelled to lie for an hour, had filled his mus- 
cles with aches and cramps. He waited, expect- 
ing to hear the four knocks, Pleas' s signal for 
him to come down. 

Instead of the knocks on the door, he heard it 
open with a creak and some person tiptoe into the 
room; presently another followed, closing the 
entrance. A whispered consultation, and one 
of the persons below went noiselessly to the door 
and opened it. A husky voice from the outside 
asked, "Who's here? " 

"Come in, come in!" said a voice, which 
Howard recognized as his Uncle Felix's. 

"Is Streeter here? " 

"Yes, Brother Samson," answered the sheriff. 

" Sha'n't we have a light ? " 

"Not yet," said Felix, beginning to sing, 
"Watchman, tell us of the Night," sotto voce. 
The other two discussed the burning of Mr. 
Sutton's house, even to the details of the kin- 
dling. This was soon interrupted, for the door 
opened. 

" Who 's there ? " demanded Samson, gruffly. 

334 



The Secret Conclave 335 

"I is, Brudder Christopher," answered the 
unmistakable voice of a negro woman. "Come 
ahaid, Sister Edg'ton an' 'Liza," she called to 
the darkness. Three women stumbled into the 
room. 

" Shall we have no light ? " asked a woman. 

" Certainlj^, if some one has a five-cents-a-box 
match," said Felix. 

" Doan need no can'le to fin' me; I is n't no 
black warnut." This humorous sallj was quickly 
followed by the scratching of a match, and one of 
the candles was lighted. 

The light revealed Miss Edgerton, the teacher 
in the negro school, and two yellow negresses. 
The six persons were paired oft" like lovers on 
a picnic. 

"Now to business," said Felix. 

"I doan love dis can'le; puff hit out, Sister 
Edg'ton," cried the big wench that Sheriff 
Streeter had drawn in this strange lottery. 

"Not now, Sister Maria; Mr. Grayson has 
some business to talk over," said Miss Edgerton, 
with the superior air of a school-ma'am. 

"Go ahaid, Brudder Grayson; I is lis'nin'," 
and Maria snuggled close up to the sheriff, who 
was visibly embarrassed. 

" What do you know about James, the colored 
man that used to belong to Mr. Saunders, Sister 
Maria ? ' ' asked Felix. 

' ' Dat black nigger ? ' ' 

" Yes, he 's black enough." 

' ' Lame in one laig ? ' ' 

' ' Guess he is lame, ' ' answered Felix. 

"ToPablegood." 



336 In the Wake of War 

' ' Will he go out nights, alone ? ' ' 

"Naw, suh; hefear'd." 

"What is he afraid of?" 

"Ha'nts, " answered Maria, seriously. 

"Do you know of any colored brothers that 
will go alone ? " 

"Indedark?" 

"Yes, in the dark and alone," persisted 
Felix. 

" Naw, suh, 'cept Pleas, de Gunnel's man." 

"Can we get him though?" 

" If he say he go, he go," said Maria, quickly. 

Howard smiled, and muttered to himself, " It 's 
all in the promising, as you said, Maria." 

" Can you get him to go. Sister Maria ? " asked 
Felix. 

"I doan know. Brudder Streeter won' lemme 
try, he jalous of Pleas, my ole sweetheart." 

"Go on now. Sister Maria, that's not so," 
answered Streeter, greatly embarrassed. The 
others laughed. 

"Hit am so, an' yo' knows hit." 

"Well, we better drop Pleas, right now. He 
is too cunning, and too loyal to Mr. Howard. 
Whom would you name. Sister 'Liza ? ' ' 

"No pusson, Brudder Grayson," answered the 
rather good looking mulatto who sat close to 
Samson. 

"Don't you know one?" asked Felix, in 
despair. 

"Dat nigger nerr was bo'n'd." 

' ' We can not send two together any more ; the 
experiment night before last was unsatisfactory. 
Two may get caught. ' ' 



The Secret Conclave 337 

' ' You 're not going to have any more fires, are 
you, my dear? " asked Miss Edgerton. 

"We have no fires, my dear Minnie," said 
Felix, quickly. " These arrogant Rebels deserve 
it; we must drive them out. This country is ours; 
our people have earned it. You admit that, yet 
you oppose the measures that will most easily and 
surely produce the end. If their houses burn 
they will clear out at once. But I don 't want to 
burn any houses; I am opposed to that kind of 
policy. Now, Maria and 'Liza, get a good man 
or two for a night job. You can get them where 
I couldn't, and when you have the men, let 
Brother Streeter know who they are." One could 
scarcely tell from an argument with the young 
preacher, which side of the proposition he was on. 
After this harangue, Miss Edgerton seemed satis- 
fied, although she had no idea whether or not 
Felix was then guilty of arson, and was planning 
another fire. Perhaps she did not care. 

" Have you heard from those fellows who are 
out stirring up the negroes to strike ? ' ' asked Felix, 
looking at Maria. 

" Dat man, Aleck, wua 'roun' las' evenin'," 

"Is he doing his duty ? " 

"I reckons he am," answered Maria, knowingly. 

" I wish he would come and see me sometimes." 

"I tells 'im." 

"Now there is just one thing more," said 
Felix, after a few moments of silence, ' ' we must 
bring down the false pride of these white people. 
The young ladies about here are carrying their 
heads too high; they are exalting themselves too 
much. What say you to that, my dear?" He 

22 



338 IN THE Wake of War 

cared nothing for their pride, but this was the pet 
hobby of Miss Edgorton, and he was determined 
to nse with her such arguments as would keep her 
in line. 

" I know what the Good Book says about those 
that exalt themselves," answered Miss Edgerton, 
"and I am willing to be an instrument in the 
hand of God to help to abase them. Your niece 
is one of them. She don't carry so high a head, 
but she walks as if she were blind — pays no 
attention to anybody. I must admit, though, that 
in her own house she is as gracious as a queen. 
I can't understand her, and I don't like her." 

"She say, 'howdy M'ria, ' to me yistiddy," 
said Maria, proudly. 

" Nothing will make the people of the South 
hate their country so quickly as an indignity to 
their ladies. I don't mean an indecent insult; 
just a little jar to their pride. For instance: 
Suppose one of these lordly dames was walking 
down the street to-morrow morning, sweeping the 
whole sidewalk with her hoop-skirts; two burly 
colored men meet her and refuse to give way. 
What would the lordly dame have to do?" 

Miss Edgerton looked approvingly at her dress- 
reform habit, and answered: " Get down into the 
gutter. ' ' 

"That would be rather humiliating, wouldn't 
it, Maria ? ' ' asked Felix. 

"Good 'nough fo' her," said Maria, fiercely. 

" We must either bring them to their senses or 
get them out of the country. Their pride is too 
deep-seated to be changed, so they will have to 
go. Well, it is rather late," continued Felix, 



The Secret Conclave 339 

yawning, "and we had best adjourn this meet- 
ing." And Streeter, with Maria on his arm; 
Samson and 'Liza; Felix and Miss Edgerton, 
walked out into the darkness. 

Howard stretched himself vigorously, for the 
cramps had taken possession of him again; these, 
with the self-repression he had been forced to 
exercise, had kept him miserable for another 
hour. 

Foolish as these conversations sound to one not 
wholly familiar with the conditions then prevail- 
ing in the South, they were full of evil to Howard 
Grayson. He had thought there was plenty of 
plotting; but it never had occurred to him, nor 
to any one of his people, that there was such a 
system. Every sentence spoken by Felix Grayson 
had been carefully weighed, and the intent had 
not miscarried. Had he asked two negroes to 
rnn a white woman from the sidewalk, they would 
have refused; yes, and more, they would have 
told of his proposal, far and near. Had he 
approached a negro with a proposition to burn a 
house, he would have been scandalized within the 
hour; but an intimation to these yellow persons 
would produce the results, without the mention of 
his name. 

And what purpose did Streeter and Samson 
serve ? Merely as witnesses, so far as this meet- 
ing was concerned. Their relations with the two 
negresses were their own affairs, like thousands of 
other similar cases of the period. This authentic 
history is not concerned in such personal matters, 
except as they drop in incidentally. 

Knowing all these conditions, realizing the 



340 In the Wake of War 

certainty of a terrific harvest from the seeds so 
insidiously planted, Howard had gone through all 
the stages from disgust to rage, and from rage 
down to fear, as his uncle proceeded to develop his 
plans. The silence that he was forced to preserve 
was not the least strain to his nerves. 

He was so deeply entangled in the nefarious 
plots that he had heard laid for his people, that 
he did not hear the four knocks, and was awak- 
ened only when Pleas stuck his head inside the 
door and called, "Eli." Pleas struck a match, 
and Howard quickly let himself down to the full 
length of his arms and dropped, but the faithful 
servant caught and lowered him gently to the 
floor. 

They hastened from the building and made off 
across fields for home, neither speaking a word. 
When they reached a lonely spot, Howard stopped 
and said: " I must tell you all, right now; I must 
have your advice before going another step. Oh, 
Pleas, it is more than hellish! " 

They sat down on the ground and the young 
man related every word that he had heard. Pleas 
listened attentively, only interrupting with an 
occasional exclamation, like: "Dat's fine!" 
"Em-m," or "Gawd ! " 

"What can we do?" asked Howard, when he 
finished. 

" M'ria tole yo'," answered Pleas. 

"What was that? " 

"Skeer 'em." 

" Will that stop this deviltry ? " 

" Mos' of hit. Yo' cain skeer dese niggers 
plumb to death; yo' knows dat. Mars Howard," 



The Secret Conclave 341 

answered Pleas, with an air that expressed perfect 
satisfaction. It gave to Howard more than a 
degree of confidence. 

"Let's go home, boy. Have a definite scheme 
for me to-morrow; tell me how to work out this 
' skeering ' business. ' ' 

Howard took a good wash at the Opal, went 
home and to bed — but not to sleep that night. 
The infamy he had heard, haunted him. Pleas's 
project started a lively play of fancy that had not 
quieted when the rising sun lighted the east. 



XXXII 

A Mighty Power Comes, but Does not Appear 

YOU came in tolerably late last night?" 
asked Colonel Grayson of Howard at break- 
fast the next morning. 

"Tolerably early this morning, would be more 
like it, Father," ansv/ered Howard. 

' ' These are bad times to be out of one's bed 
after night," said the Colonel. 

"1 was trying to find out something about 
these bad times, and the trail was a long one." 

' ' You were not alone ? ' ' 

"No, Father, I was in good, safe company," 

" I do not question but you were in good com- 
pany, my son; safe company would be hard to 
find." 

"Fleas?" 

"The very safest in the v;orld. Did you dis- 
cover anything worth the loss of sleep? " asked 
the father. 

"I think so; can't tell for certain before mid- 
night. I shall be out again to-night, but will 
carry Pleas along." 

"Then you would best to take a little rest 
after dinner; I will go to the field and keep the 
men at work." 

"Thank you. Father; I shall need to lie down 
a bit. I used to do without sleep, but since loaf- 
ing in prison for nine months I find I have taken 
on a great habit for yawm'ng, " said Howard. 

342 



A fvliGHTY Power Comes 343 

After dinner he sought out Fleas for a little 
conference. The negro was pretending to work 
in the garden. 

"What did you mean last night, when you 
said we could scare the colored people to stay 
home ? " 

" Jes' what I said," answered Pleas, promptly, 

"How shall we do it? " 

"I doan know, suh; yo' knows bes'." 

" What shall we frighten them about ? " 

"Nauow, Mars Howard, what a nigger mos' 
feard of?" asked Pleas, curiously. 

"Ghosts? " 

"Sperets, " answered Pleas, triumphantly. 

"Oh, I understand. I will talk with you 
about it to-night. You better get a nap and be 
ready to go out with me soon after dark." 

"I is raidy; I doan wan' no sleep," And 
Pleas began hoeing vigorously to show that he 
was not sleepy. 

When they arrived at the Bluff, Howard pick- 
eted Pleas at a good distance from the meeting 
place and went alone to the rendezvous. He was 
the last to arrive; the four were awaiting him. 
For a time they sat on the ground talking infor- 
mally, first one and then another. To Howard, 
who realized more than any other person present, 
the gravity of the conditions confronting the peo- 
ple of the South, this idle talk became intolerable, 
and he spoke up: "Say, boys, we are making no 
headway; we never shall do any good this way. 
I move that Manning Lewis be chosen chairman, 
or moderator of this meeting, and that each of us 
report in regular order what he knows." 



344 In the Wake of War 

"I support that motion; only instead of calling 
him chairman or moderator, I move that he be 

the the well, Grand Cyclops,"" said 

Morton Seymour; he seldom took anything seri- 
ously. 

The motion was put and carried. 

" Now, brethren " 

"Hush!'' They all cried together. "This 
is no branch of the Union League," 

" That noise you-all made right now sounds like 
it, from all accounts," said Manning. "Well, 
the Cyclops can make no mistake; he was trying 
to see what kind of persons he was dealing with. 
What's the order of business? " 

' ' I suggest that each of us make a report of 
what he has learned," said Howard. 

"A tolerable suggestion, Mr. Grayson. Will 
the Khan of Watery Fork arise, salute, and 
reveal ? " 

Morton Seymour, whose paternal home was 
situated along the creek named, arose, made 
a profound salaam before the chairman, and 
reported as follows: "Most mighty Grand Cy. ! 
Without further salutation permit your servant to 
report, that on yester morn he visited the ofHce of 
the agent of the Freedmen's Bureau, near this 
sitting. He found the agent well and prosper- 
ous. He asked the well and prosperous agent if 
something could not be done to keep the negroes 
at home of nights. The agent thought the ' col- 
ored brethren,' as he called them, ought to be 
permitted to enjoy themselves; that this was now 
a free country. Your servant suggested that the 
negroes were creating disturbances, were firing 



A Mighty Power Comes 345 

guns and pistols indiscriminately, to the danger 
of life and limb. The agent maintained that 
while the colored people were somewhat jubilant 
while under the influence of liquor, the oflicers 
proposed to remedy the evil by seeing that the 
colored brethren paid out their money for mar- 
riage licenses and other luxuries. Up to this 
point in our conversation the agent looked bored. 
Your servant thought he would stir up the mighty 
man, so he charged the negroes with having 
burned Mr. Sutton^s house. Then was the great 
and prosperous agent wroth. He said that the 
house was fired by Rebels, or by accident; that 
the people of the South had to fear only late 
insurrectionists; that the colored brethren were 
all right and must be allowed to enjoy themselves 
after their own fashion. Your servant had the 
pleasure of bidding the great man a respectful 
and courteous good-morning, which the great 
man was too low-bred to appreciate. With the 
consent of the Grand Cy., your servant will 'set 
down,' in the language of the lamented Jonas 
Smith." 

"What shall be done with the remarks of the 
Khan from Watery Fork ? ' ' asked Manning. 

"File 'em down," cried Ferry Honston. 

"Keeper of the Great File, file 'em down!" 
said the Grand Cyclops. 

"File 'em down," echoed the others in unison. 

' ' Prepare to listen to the disclosure of the 
Rajah of the Third Civil District." 

"Most puissant 'Clops," said Perry Houston, 
with mock obeisance, ' ' may you never see your 
shadow on ground-hog day! I have nothing to 



346 In the Wake of War 

report, except to add to what my colleague has 
right now said; for in the language of Judge 
Witan, 'we is podners. ' Together we made a 
decent and respectful appeal to the powers at 
Kosciusko for a safe and quiet community, and 
together we M^ere turned down. There was some- 
thing strange about the conduct of everyone of 
them, except Captain Avery; he was apparently 
candid and straightforward. But he could afford 
to be, for he said he could do nothing; that was 
very easily said. We met Felix Grayson after 
leaving the Bureau and he said the agent was 
a very greedy man, and he, Felix, thought a 
little money paid to this fellow, Bragg, would 
hush the negroes and quiet the disturbances. We 
told him that it took all our money to get the 
negroes brought back to work after the strike; 
Felix sighed, said it was too bad, and went on. 
The Provost-Marshal would not talk with us, and 
the sheriff had a contract to work on his face 
and could not spare time to listen to us. So 
there we are. All the planters in my neighbor- 
hood have paid the Bureau to get the blacks back 
to work under their contracts, and now they run 
about nights until they are utterly worthless by 
day. This night-hawking is the worst feature, 
Mr. Grand 'Clops, and there seems to be no cure, 
except to buy up the Freedmen's Bureau. Our 
people, especially our ladies, arc in a state of 
terror, the like of which they never experienced 
when we were off to the war. I have nothing to 
recommend, Mr. 'Clops, and only ask that I may 
' set down.' " 

" What shall we do with the disclosure ? " 



A Mighty Power Comes 347 

"Too dod-gasted long; file it down," cried 
Morton Seymour. 

"Keeper of the Great File, file it down!" 
said the Grand Cyclops. 

" File it down," echoed the others. 

Howard was chafing under all this nonsense. 
He alone knew the true state of aftairs, and wanted 
serious talk ; but as the meeting was proceeding on 
the lines he had suggested, he would not interrupt. 

' ' The Mogul that reigns over the territory near 
the Union League, will now divulge," said Man- 
ning. 

' ' Most mighty potentate, Cyclops de Grand, 
we are makiiig light of a serious situation. Here 
we are threatened with anarchy; v.^e are completely 
overrun by negroes in the hands of designing white 
men, and there seems to be no remedy," said Paul 
Willston. "You ought to live just one day near 
Kosciusko, and witness the performances. Last 
night, after the League adjourned, there was a 
regular fusillade in front of our house; two win- 
dows were broken, and a bullet lodged in the wall 
directly above father's bed. It is hell every time 
those fellows get together. Father went to see 
the Bureau officials, and got just no satisfaction. 
Every phxnter in my community has been bled; all 
the negroes who had the money to pay for licenses 
have been compelled to be married again; every- 
thing is growing worse. What shall we do, boys ? 
I wish Colonel Grayson and Major Lewis were 
here to advise us. We must do something." 

" What shall we do with the report ? " 

"It 's short, let it not be filed," cried Morton 
Seymour. 



348 In the Wake of War 

"Let the Keeper of the Great File rest," said 
the Grand Cyclops. 

" Rest; so says the Grand Cyclops, and he must 
be obeyed," the others repeated in unison. 

' ' Listen while the Hydra from the shores of 
the blue Opal makes his exposure." 

"Now, boys, as Paul has said, 'this is a seri- 
ous business,' " said Howard, with great earnest- 
ness. " I can not make nonsense of what I have 
to tell you; I believe it is a matter of life or death 
to the native whites of this Section. Yes, boys, 
it is more; the respect and honor of our ladies is 
this very hour at stake. So you will have to bear 
with me, and get down to hard, disagreeable facts 
for a time. What I will tell you, I know to be 
true, as much as if I had seen and heard them 
myself. No common rumorj no neighborhood 
gossip, no exaggeration." He went over the 
incidents of the night before, in narrative form, 
without disclosing his part in them. The knowl- 
edge that he had taken this adventure he kept for 
his sister, himself and Pleas.- The only feature 
he eliminated from his recital was the mention of 
Felix Grayson's name. Family pride forbade this 
disclosure. Except for this, every word he had 
heard spoken was faithfully repeated. 

This statement brought a moment's silence, 
which Morton Seymour found more oppressive 
than threatening disaster. He could keep still 
no longer; assuming an air of business abstrac- 
tion he said: "I move you, Mr. Grand Cyclops, 
that this harrowing confession be rasped." 

"Hush your nonsense," said Paul Willston. 
" This is serious enough; we must get shut of this 



A Mighty Power Comes 349 

gadding about, or we shall have to quit our homes. 
What have you to suggest, Howard? " 

" Pleas says we can scare the negroes until they 
will be afraid to stick their noses into the dark," 
answered Howard. 

" How scare them? " asked Manning. 

' ' Take advantage of their superstition ; make 
up ghost stories, as we have done a hundred 
times. ' ' 

"That's easy, but who will circulate your 
yarn ? When the negroes were under our hands 
we could do that; but now they are in Bragg's 
bag — another proposition," said Seymour, who 
was skeptical, when not mischievous. 

" Pleas will attend to my territory; each of you 
must have some negro to whom you can tell a 
good story in such a way that it will get into 
general circulation. Let 's fix it up right now, 
and make a -trial at once." 

There was a brief silence; each was considering 
the proposition and calculating how it would affect 
his surroundings. Before any of them were ready 
to speak, Pleas called from the wood below: 
"Mars Howard! Mars Howard! See de fire." 
All turned to the direction from which the voice 
came, and saw the heavens illuminated with a red 
glow. 

"Another house ! " all exclaimed. 

"Maria found her man for the night job," 
said Howard 

"It's in my direction; it may be Graystone. 
Try the ' scare, ' and let me know to-morrow.- 
Good-night, boys." And Paul Willston was out 
of sight in an instant, making for home. 



350 In the Wake of War 

"We ought to have gone with him," said 
Manning, reproachfully. "But perhaps it is 
better to stay here and lay plans to stop this 
business altogether. Now for the story. ' ' 

"Let 's start a yarn about a monster that lives 
in the cave right under us. Something that parades 
at night, has big eyes, and eats negroes. How 's 
that?" asked Howard, for a suggestion. 

" Very good; but what is your 'sarpint ' like? " 
Morton Seymour enquired. 

" Oh, he has the head of a man, only it is four 
times as big, the body of a crocodile, and great 
scales as big as skillets, the legs of a — of — a 
turtle — twelve legs, six on each side, a tail that 
ends in a spear, like the satanic Cyclops. Is that 
too much? " asked Manning Lewis, straightening 
himself in pride before his off-hand creation. 

" The cuss scares me already," cried Morton. 

"I don't think there is any too much detail," 
said Hov/ard. "If the story goes, the negroes 
will add plenty of particulars about his flaming 
eyes, frothy mouth and blood}' teeth. What shall 
we call your child. Manning ? " 

"Now let some one else think of that; I've 
done my part," answered Manning. 

"Something horrible," suggested Perry Hous- 
ton, who had kept still since Howard had made 
his statement. 

"Call it plain Man-Eater, " said Howard. 
"The negroes will make a name quickly enough, 
if the story goes." 

Pleas was then called in and the story v/as 
related to him. The alacrity with which he 
tacked on chapter after chapter of flesh-creejDi ng 



A Mighty Power Comes 351 

details was astonishing. Manning Lewis con- 
fessed the weakness of his own fancy. 

" Naouw, gen'lemen, tell dat Eli, de nigger 
from Arkansas, was et up, body an' briches, by 
dat feesh. I wants to git shet dat drunk buzzard 
anyhow; he make me seek," said Pleas. 

Agreeing to meet the third night following, to 
report on the effect of this venture, they parted. 

Thus started, for Williams County, a mysteri- 
ous power. The world gave it an organization, 
and many names; for itself, and among those 
who were connected with it, it was nameless. It 
hardly rose to the dignity of an organization; yet 
no organization ever wrought more systematically 
or effectively. It sprang from the direst neces- 
sity, yet those who started it never hoped that it 
would prove such a complete barrier for the pro- 
tection of human life and personal rights. 

It started by an accident; it worked as a joke. 



XXXIII 

In Which Eli Mysteriously Disappears 

WHEN Pleas reached home he went straight 
to his cabin and shook out his friend, Eli. 
This worthy had not Ijeen out of doors since the 
night before, when he assailed, with natural 
vigor, the jug of sutler's whisky. But the liquor 
had now been gone some hours, and the negro 
began to recover his senses. Pleas made the 
fellow believe that he had committed a foul crime 
during his period of unconsciousness; and in 
a short time instilled into his clouded intellect a 
desire to get out of the country, and that quickly. 
When Eli burst out with this proposition. Pleas 
made no argument; on the contrary, he drove the 
matter further and made the drunkard believe 
that he either must flee the State, or go to jail. 
In those days the negroes had much reverence for 
barred windows and iron doors; only since they 
have become educated and elevated have any con- 
siderable number of the colored people come to 
prefer a term in jail, with free board, to a job of 
work at good wages. So, when Eli, now thor- 
oughly frightened and sobered, raised the ques- 
tion of car-fare. Pleas became alarmed, and asked 
quickly: " Ain yo' got no moneys Thet am de 
beatenis' thing I err heerd tell of, Yo' caint 
walk; git caught, shu. Mought as well steal a 
boss, as what yo' done already. Feard to steal 
a boss ? "' 

352 



In Which Eli Disappears 353 

" Yas, Brudder Pleas; I 'ud tumble offn de 
stole boss," cried Eli. 

"I gits de money from Mars Howard, mebbe. 
Yo' lef yo' overcoat fo' s'cur'ty ? " 

' ' Yas, Brudder Pleas, ' ' cried Eli, with a sigh 
of relief. 

During the months of his eclipse at Elmington, 
Pleas had been at work for wages on a little farm 
hidden away up a narrow valley in the hill-coun- 
try. Here he was as safe as he would have been 
in Arkansas, and by many ingenious devices, he 
managed to keep himself reasonably informed of 
the trend of events in Kosciusko. And more, he 
earned quite a bit of money, every cent of which 
he kept religiously; and when he returned to his 
old home, he placed in Howard's hand the 
tobacco bag containing the whole sum. The 
young master refused the gift, but promised to 
keep the funds safely, subject to Pleas's call; he 
had only to ask for what he needed. 

The money transaction being arranged, they 
put off, walking around Kosciusko for fear of the 
officers, whom Pleas declared might then have 
a warrant for the arrest of his friend, and made 
for the first station to the south of the county 
seat; and at an early hour, Eli took the train with 
a ticket for Decatm-, Alabama. Pleas was back 
home before daybreak. When Howard came out 
the next morning he asked where Eli was. 

" Doan know. Mars Howard. Reckons de ole 
man-eater got 'im. Hev n't saw Eli sence las' 
night. Hit sutnly am curus how a nigger gits et 
clean up, mighty curus." 

''Where did he go, Pleas?" asked Howard. 

C3 



354 In the Wake of War 

" Dat ole man-eater wid twelve laigs, an' big 
eyes, an'a man's haid, an' a body like a allegator, 
an' scales as big as kittle kivers, an' claws like 
tater hooks, an' tail with a spear on de en', an' 
teeth like tombstones — dat critter sutnly miis' 
got 'im las' evenin'. Tell de niggers 'bout hit," 
said Pleas, with a peculiar twinkle of the eye. 

" Where did you send him to ? " asked Howard, 
rather commandingly. 

" Yo' tells de niggers, fust. 1 's sleepy, now," 
and Pleas yawned outrageously. 

"Tell them yourself, you scoundrel," said 
Howard, disappointed with the effect that his 
show of authority had produced. 

"Done tole 'em 'bout de man-eater, an' dat I 
caint fi.n' Eli nowheres." 

During the forenoon, Pleas made it convenient 
to go to the field where the five negroes were 
hoeing cotton; and while they rested in the shade 
of a tree, he gave them more full and detailed 
particulars of the new monster. The effect that 
this foolish and impossible " story had on these 
creatures can hardly be realized. They all be- 
lieved it, and rivalled each other in creating fanci- 
ful and shocking details. Every man of them 
had a name for the beast; all had seen his tracks 
along the banks of the Opal. 

When the sun marked the meridian. Pleas led 
the hands by a round-about course towards the 
house for dinner. At a point near the Opal, over 
a hill and out of view from the field where they 
had been at work, they came upon the torn and 
drabbled remnants of Eli's overcoat. For a 
space of several yards the cotton was torn from 



In Which Eli Disappears 355 

the soil, the dirt was beaten, and there was every 
sign of a fierce struggle. Several imprints of 
great feet or paws were clearly seen, and the 
cruel claws of the satyr had dug deep holes in the 
soft earth. 

"Doan I tole yo' ? " asked Pleas, in triumph. 
' ' Eli am et up, shu. ' ' 

The statement was beyond question, and they 
went thoughtfully to dinner. 

Each of the five young men who had par- 
ticipated in the secret meeting at the Bluff the 
night before, quietly set afloat in his immediate 
neighborhood the story agreed upon. Within 
twenty-four hours of its creation, it spread from 
the hills on the west to the ridges on the east. 
Nearly every negro knew it. Whence it came no 
one knew, it was there, and spread like fire 
through a pine forest. No white man was heard 
to repeat it ; no white man seemed to know any- 
thing about it. 

The ofticers and Carpet-Baggers heard the wild 
tale and thought it the fantastic creature of some 
idle negro's brain. That it was a blow struck out 
of the dark, either by design or accident, aimed 
at their abuses and usurpations, never once 
occurred to them. They thought themselves 
secure in all their assumptions; that the patient 
and courteous people whom they were daily out- 
raging would neither defend nor retaliate. 

It is not the province of this history to speculate 
on the relative qualities of Fate, or Accident, or 
Providence, in shaping the defenses of this long- 
sufi'ering people. It is more in point to record 
that there was no incendiary fire in Williams 



356 In the Wake of War 

County that night, nor for many a day and night 
following. Maria's "man for a night job" had 
tucked himself carefully away in the corner of a 
cabin, behind a chimney's lug, there to listen to 
harrowing tales about a man-eater with twelve 
legs, the head of a man, the body of a crocodile, 
and other particulars; and about the disappear- 
ance of Eli, the colored gentleman from Arkansas, 
the relation of which kept him occupied until he 
had no taste for nocturnal adventures. 

The next regular meeting of the League was 
the most shabbily attended of any since the order 
was started in Kosciusko. There were not a half 
dozen blacks in the room; the cordon of out- 
posts was not on guard, — it was dark. 

A week of comparative peace followed; only 
for the nagging of the officers. Middle Tennessee 
would have been again the earthly Paradise that 
God Almighty designed and created it in the 
beginning. 



XXXIV 

In Which the Pursuits of Peace Are Exemplified 

THE wholesome quiet produced bj the first ef- 
fort at regulating the lawless blacks, brought 
to the few who knew the simple origin of the move- 
ment a degree of security they had not felt for 
more than a year. They easily foresaw the com- 
pleteness of their defense against negroes; they 
believed that a little ingenuity would supply means 
by which the infamous persecution by the officers 
could be checked, if, indeed, it could not be wholly 
circumvented. So, with true American enterprise, 
they began to plan for the morrow, before they 
had fully provided for the security thereof. 

This weakness for discounting the future on 
the merest prospect of success (and "a fighting 
chance'') is an American disorder. It is very 
near of kin to the gambling instinct, although so 
thoroughly allied with all our institutions and 
methods, that it no longer bears the odium that 
still attaches to its discredited relation. 

One of the first to begin to put his house in or- 
der was Howard Grayson. Margaret Dodge was 
now fully recovered from the illness brought on 
by overwork and insufficient food while a nurse in 
the Confederate hospitals. The misunderstand- 
ing between them had been brushed aside as soon 
as she was able to leave her sick-room and listen 
to Howard's frank and manly apology. The scene 

357 



358 In the Wake of War 

by which was enacted this reconciliation, was rather 
too sentimental for record in this most serious 
history; suffice to say, it was a full and complete 
restoration of confidence. And now that there was 
a fair promise of peace in the community, or, at 
least, a means for the procuring of peace, he asked 
her to name an early day for the celebration of 
their marriage. 

With the love of being implored — even to the 
verge of being urged, on this and kindred sub- 
jects — so dear to the pride of the Southern girl 
— she put him off from day to day; but when she 
saw that he was really very anxious and took the 
matter seriously, she sent him to her father to 
make a formal request for his consent to an early 
wedding day. 

John Dodge liked above all else to be consulted 
with. It made little odds what the subject was — 
that often did not interest him — it was the recog- 
nition of his opinion that fixed his attention. 
Howard knew his weakness and ap^iroached to 
this side of his nature. 

"Well, well, my boy," cried Dodge, rubbing 
his great hands together, "so you want to marry 
Margaret? Don't blame you; she's a fine girl; 
her father's daughter, through and through. 
Well, you shall have her." 

"That's tolerably well settled already; the 
time when, is the question now," Howard inter- 
posed. 

"That don't make any difference; she 's yours; 
fix the time yourselves. Do you know 1 shall 
have to go back North on business pretty soon ? 
May be gone several months; can't tell. Lots of 



Pursuits of Peace Are Exemplified 359 

business up North, Howard; oceans of it. 1 
ought to be up there now and get mj share; just 
w^astiug my time down here where everybody is 
broke, except those Federal officers. And then 
the climate — you just ought to see that climate ! 
Never had a fainting spell there; too busy to drop 
down insensible in a fit, like I did on the Bluff at 
our celebrated duel. That was nothing in the 
world but biliousness; I wasn't the least bit ner- 
vous or excited. Let 's see, what were we talking 
about ? Oh, yes, that wedding ! Go ahead, my 
boy; you and Margaret arrange it; only count me 
in; don't leave me out. Do you know, Howard, 
my boy, I have rather expected this ever since 
you and Margaret were children ? It seems kind 
of natm-al that the daughter of John Dodge and 
the son of Colonel Rodeny Grayson should wed. 
My daughter and the son of the best and most 
influential man in Middle Tennessee ought to be 
joined in holy wedlock ! Do you remember when 
you were children and went to the Old Field 
school, how you used to stop here every morning 
and get Margaret's books and dinner bucket 'i 
You were a fine boy then ; yes, siree, a fine boy. 
The late Mrs. Dodge always loved you, Howard ; 
she was a good woman, and a good judge of men 
— she showed that when she married me. Yes, 
yes; and you were a good soldier, too. Do you 
know I love a brave man ? I hate a coward ! 
Well, Margaret deserves a brave man; she 's a 
brave girl. Oh, she 's her father's daughter. 
Go and arrange the matter with her, and may 
God bless you, my boy. I M go along and talk 
it over with you, but I must write those business 



360 In the Wake of War 

letters. Business is business ! Have a church 
Avedding, I want to invite those Northern fe]h:)ws 
at Kosciusko, just to show them how we do busi- 
ness down here." 

"I think we shall have to leave the matter of 
church to Margaret. I more than half suspect 
she will object to any display," said Howard, 
who spoke his own sentiments, hoping she would 
agree with him. 

"She's pretty headstrong, and I guess we'll 
have to let her boss this business," answered Mr. 
Dodge. "Do you remember about that deed? 
Well, sir, she never has given it back to me; I 
can't get it. If I go North to live, I shall sell 
the farm, and that one hundred acres takes the 
very heart out of the whole plantation." 

"Perhaps it doesn't suit Margaret to think of 
the graveyard in which her mother and all the 
Saunders family are buried, as passing into the 
hands of strangers," said Howard. 

"Oh, that's it, all right enough; but, my boy, 
business is business, and I 'm a business man. 
After all, she 's right, and I am proud of her 
spunk. Natural, perfectly natural; she's her 
father's daughter. Well, I '11 just give that to 
her for a dowry; that's what I'll do. After I 
get settled down in business up North, and am 
making money hand over fist, may be you '11 sell 
out here and join me; I'll make you a fortune, 
if you will." 

" I don't reckon Elmington ever will belong to 
anybody but a Grayson, so long as there is a per- 
son in the world of that name," answered Howard, 
quietly. 



Pursuits of Peace Are Exemplified 361 

"That's right, too; stand by the old home- 
stead. Well, I must write these business letters. 
Go and arrange your wedding business, and God 
bless you both." 

The marriage was arranged for, the day and 
hour set; but the church and the invitations for 
the Federal officers, except Captain Avery, were 
entirely overlooked by mutual consent. 



XXXV 

The Secret Order Takes Form, but not a Name 

AT the second meeting of the five, when they 
. came together to compare notes on the effect 
of the wild tale about the man-eater, it was agreed 
all around that the society should enlarge its mem- 
bership. Accordingly, when they met for the 
third time, each brought a friend, the ten making 
quite a formidable company. 

By strange prescience, for there had been no 
agreement between the five, none had mentioned 
that he had attended a secret meeting. Only the 
five knew of it. The little world about Kosciusko 
did not know that the foolish story that had 
frightened the negroes into a state of reasonable 
docility, was a composite — the combined effort 
of five of their best known young gentlemen. 
The Southern folk, discouraged and hopeful in 
turn, but always patient, did not know that their 
defender — their avenger — was already in their 
midst; that although it was nameless and unor- 
ganized, they had seen its power and experienced 
its benefits. 

Gatherings of late Confederates at night, either 
secret or open, were prohibited by the powers at 
Kosciusko. So, for fear of interruption, or dis- 
covery, the ten adjourned from the open on the 
Bluff, to the cave under it. The first business 
was an explanation to the new members of the 

362 



The Secret Order Takes Form 363 

work already done. This finished, all took seri- 
ously to the matter of forming the accidental 
association into a permanent organization. 

A committee was appointed to draft a constitu- 
tion, with instructions to report back at the next 
meeting, two nights later. When this document, 
known as the Prescript, was brought in and read, 
those who listened to its provisions were treated 
to the most original and unique production that 
the history of secret fraternities can furnish. It 
was a huge joke — wild, fantastic, droll. 

Even with the constitution adopted, the order, 
or society, or fraternity, or club, was nameless. 
Its only appellation was, * *. But for the ready 
fancy of the newspaper correspondent, who 
months afterward was shocked to learn that this 
mysterious power had a membership of twenty- 
five thousand men in Middle Tennessee, and has- 
tened to invent suitable cognomens, the order 
would have been nameless forever. To this 
watch-dog of public and private morals and meth- 
ods, not to the organization or its members, man- 
kind is indebted for the names, " Ku-Klux Klan, " 
"The Invisible Empire," "The Order of Pale 
Faces," "The Knights of the White Camelia," 
and a hundred others. 

In this written Prescript, only one paragraph 
was serious in tone. That provided: First, that 
all the members should recognize and obey the 
Government of the United States; second, that 
they should protect the weak, especially women 
and children; third, that the members should stand 
together. An obligation, more facetious than for- 
midable, closed the unusual document. 



364- In the Wake of War 

A ritual, prescribing ceremonies for initiation 
and other formal proceedings, was reported and 
adopted. After it had been read several times 
and its contents were well understood, the writing 
was burned with strange and ludicrous ceremony. 
From that hour the mysteries and secrets of the 
order lived only in the memory of men. 

Whether the divulgence of these mysteries 
would redound to the honor or infamy of the 
hundreds of thousands who so faithfully carried 
them, is not a matter for consideration by the 
chronicler of this authentic history, especially as 
he has never been intrusted with so much as a 
hint at one of them. Yet millions of men and 
women, fortified with a like absence of knowledge, 
have dared to pass judgment, sweeping and con- 
clusive. Be that as it may, mankind loves those 
who are faithful to a trust, and this countless and 
unknown brotherhood will be forever honored, in 
that it guarded its secrets to the end. 

From this meeting the order spread until it en- 
compassed those parts of the country that were 
under the heel of the oppressor. The success of 
this first effort, simple as it was, became known 
to every community in the terrorized South. Dens 
seemed to spring up spontaneously; no agents, no 
hired organizers, went from place to place urging 
men to join. Men flocked to the dreaded banner 
without stopping to enquire of its methods, (n* to 
consider where it would end. It had brought a 
degree of relief; it had checked the tidal wave of 
systematic iniquity — that was enough. 

The people were worn out with persecutions; 
they were daily plundered by rapacious officers; 



The Secret Order Takes Form 365 

the negroes were becoming insolent, insulting, 
menacing, under the influence of these officers; 
anarchy threatened, and they were powerless to 
evade or to meet it. Shall we wonder that they 
grasped at this one mysterious straw ? In their 
keenness for quiet, is it strange that they over- 
looked the possible abuses of their accidental cre- 
ation ? Shall those who builded under such a 
press of ill-treatment be blamed that they did not 
foresee that in the future, designing men, even the 
officers at Kosciusko, could make use of their for- 
tuitous structure for infamous purposes ? 

However questionable its methods or practices, 
it quelled lawlessness, restored order and pre- 
served it until Greed was thrown (or tumbled) 
from the saddle, and Justice resumed her sway. 
All this it did, and there are grave reasons to 
doubt if like results could have been attained by 
more open means. 

With all its known and confessed weaknesses 
and abuses, the Order of the Two Stars did well 
its part. It protected the weak, especially de- 
fenseless women and children; it did more ! It 
saved the South from anarchy. 



XXXVI 

In Which the Doctrine of the Sadducees is 
Utterly Confounded 

SCARCELY had the members of the midnight 
circle congratulated themselves on their first 
success, when a new case appeared for treatment. 
As Howard Grayson led the work in the cotton 
rows one day, a fortnight after Eli had vanished, 
two negroes appeared at the farthest end of the 
field and had a few moments' talk with one of the 
hired hands. The suddenness with which they 
disappeared aroused his suspicion, and he called 
on Pleas to find out the mission of the two visit- 
ors. For once. Pleas acknowledged his igno- 
rance, but he started forthwith to supply the lack. 

It was a longer chase than he had expected ; for 
the hands had become rather suspicious of the con- 
fidential servant. But he never gave up a hunt 
while there was scent in the track, and before he 
went to bed that night he found out that a general 
strike of the negroes had been ordered by the 
authorities at Kosciusko. 

This was Thursday; all hands were directed to 
quit work on the following Monday morning. 

The next day Pleas communicated this infor- 
mation to his young master; that night at a meet- 
ing of the Den, in the cave beneath the Bluff, 
the impending labor troubles and the resultant 
fees to the agent of the Freedmen's Bureau be- 
came pertinent subjects for consideration. 

366 



Doctrine of Sadducees Confounded 367 

Saturday night and Sunday, the matter of Eli's 
disappearance was revived and discussed with great 
vigor. At Ehnington, Pleas made it a point to 
have the negroes together, and led off with many 
new problems and complications in the mystery. 

In other parts of the county, like agitation and 
discussion was going on. Whence came this re- 
vival of a subject which the colored people so 
much desired to have forgotten, nobody knew. 
It was seemingly spontaneous, and Pleas argued 
that it was but the precursor of more serious 
developments in the case. 

Sunday morning broke into a heavy down-pour 
of rain, which continued throughout the day. By 
spells, thunder rolled heavily from a distance. 
Toward night, the wind blev/ up fresh and strong; 
the rain came down in floods. Pleas had all the 
negroes on the place, except Uncle Phil, packed 
into his cabin. It was fast coming dark, the wind 
whistled through the cracks and moaned in the 
trees overhead. The single candle fluttered and 
spluttered on its wooden bracket against the logs, 
and at times nearly parted with its slender flame. 
The remnant of the cook-fire flickered on the 
hearth. 

Pleas was leading the conversation, and kept 
the mysterious affair of his friend, Eli, constantly 
to the fore. The- subject seemed to weigh on his 
mind; he declared solemnly that he tried in vain 
to shake off the spell. After a ponderous clap of 
thunder that shook the building, and set the 
negroes to quaking, he said: "Err time dat ole 
thun'er smash, I thinks of Eli. He comes back; 
yo' by ear me talkin', he comes back. Mebbe in 



368 In the Wake of War 

de speret, mebbc in de rest-erection; but he 
comes. De Bible, hit say we raought be rest- 
erected right hyear; leastwise, Uncle Phil say so, 
an' he knows dat ole Bible-book, from en' to en'. 
I ast him 'bout hit yestiddy, an' he say, ' posser- 
ble, ' ' posserble. ' " 

The heavy splash, splash of a horse's hoofs in 
front of the door put an end to these theological 
speculations. Before anyone could move, had 
they had the courage to stir, a famished, hoarse 
voice called, as if from out a great distance: 
"Pleas, yo' Pleas! water, water!" 

"Eli," gasped Pleas, evidently too badly 
scared to make a move. But presently he recov- 
ered somewhat, and started toward the door. 
Meanwhile the voice from without kept moan- 
ing, "Water! water!" Pleas muttered: "Hit's 
Eli, shu." 

The five negroes were imbecile with fright; 
they could only groan and call, ' ' Gawd ! ' ' 

Pleas jerked the door open. The first puff of 
wind extinguished the candle, leaving the room 
in darkness, save for the glimmer of coals in the 
fire-place. This flickered iip with every gust of 
wind, making a fitful, uncertain light. 

"Eli! " called Pleas timorously into the black 
night. 

"Water! water!" came back the strained, 
husky voice from the darkness. 

No sooner was the door ajar, than the horse 
charged to the opening, cutting off all hope of 
flight for the negroes within. One tumbled over 
on the floor in a swoon, two managed to get 
behind the door, while the other two rolled under 



Doctrine or Sadducees Confounded 369 

the bed. From these points of shelter they 
groaned, and shouted, and tried to pray. 

And it is really no wonder, for the apparition 
that blocked the doorway would have startled the 
sturdiest nerve. The horse looked like a mon- 
ster, and was covered with a white blanket that 
reached to the point of his nose and touched the 
ground on all sides, completely enveloping him. 
Holes were made for eyes and nostrils; but in- 
stead of ears, this demon's horse had a great 
horn, two feet long, .in the center of his forehead. 
On such an animal was Eli mounted, without 
saddle or bridle. 

And poor Eli ! He was covered with an im- 
mense white mantle that flowed in shifting, rus- 
tling folds from the crown of his head to the 
ground. An opening was made for his face, and 
slashes in the sides gave freedom to his arms. 
Two black horns stood up threateningly on the 
top of his head; his fingers were fully twelve 
inches long, and each terminated in a point. 

If the frightened negroes in the cabin did not 
note all of these details, each marked the face of 
their former friend — for there was no doubt in 
then- minds but it was Eli. The black features 
were drtiwn and twisted with agony; his great 
white teeth shone to the last molar. And the 
wheezy voice kept calling, "Water! water!" 

" Whar yo' been at, Eli? '' asked Pleas, hunt- 
ing nervously about for his gourd. 

"In Hell," answered the supposed Eli, with 
painful shudderings. "Water! water! a bucket- 
fu'. " 

Pleas grasped the pail, dipped into the water 

24 



370 In the Wake of War 

barrel that had stood under the dripping eaves 
all day, and passed it quickly to Eli. He turned 
it down almost at a gulp. 

"Mo', mo'. " 

"Whar yo' been?" asked Pleas again, dip- 
ping up another bucketful. 

"In Hell, I tells yo'. Water, mo' water." 

Pleas dipped another pailful, and another, and 
a fifth, all of which Eli turned down without 
hesitation. 

"I's burnin'; burnin' insides; mo' water!" 
cried the spectre. 

From within the cabin came groans, shouts of 
"Oh, Gawd!" and prayers. Pleas worked like 
a whole fire department, passing up bucketful 
after bucketful, until the barrel was empty. The 
man on the horse cried, " Mo', mo'." 

"Ain' no mo', Eli," said Pleas, puffing from 
exertion. 

"I's burnin' insides; mo' water! Two weeks 
in Hell, day an' night. Look out fo' dat man- 
eater. Pleas. Tell all de colored gen'lemen 'bout 
'im. Tell de boys to wuck, stiddy an' faithfu', 
or dey goes to flell, shu'. Two hours out ter- 
night; mus' git back in dat time. Ain' yo' got 
no mo' water. Pleas? Oh, I's burnin'. I 
comes back nex' week, if de boys doan wuck." 
And with a coarse, unearthly yell, he started the 
horse, that whirled and rushed off into the 
darkness. 

For an hour there was silence in the cabin, 
except for groans and prayers. Pleas alone had 
his senses. He kept muttering to himself: " Tur- 
rible, turrible, but I knowed Eli come to no good ; 



Doctrine of Sadducees Confounded 371 

he was the lazies', mos' triflin' nigger in the 
worl'. He nerr would wuck." 

When Howard came home, about ten o'clock, 
he looked in. They were before the little fire, 
jumping and shuddering at every sound. He 
listened attentively to the story from Pleas, and 
seemed horror-stricken at the details. 

"Did he say he would come back?" asked 
Howard, when Pleas had finished his recital. 

"■ Yas, suh. Mars Howard; spressly if we doan 
wuck, an' keep stiddy. Doan he say jes' so?" 
asked Pleas, appealing to his five companions. 

"Yas, suh, Mars Howard. We wucks good," 
they all cried, for this seemed to be the only 
defense they could think of. 

Pleas then related that Eli had grown a tail as 
big as a cow's, with an ugly spear on the end, and 
so long that it dragged on the ground. But he 
forgot to tell, if he knew, that this tail was a 
piece of rubber hose; that it was attached to a 
rubber bag under Eli's mantle; that the bag 
received the water by pailfuls, and the tail carried 
it off several yards to the ground, out of the 
range of the faint light. 

"Well, there's no danger from Eli; he won't 
come back here, for I 'm sure you all intend to 
work and stand to your contracts," said Howard, 
in a pacific tone. " He wants to warn those who 
are trifling and worthless. And he 's right, too, 
boys; you all know that. Wish I had seen him, 
although he never did like me right well. Now 
go to bed, and get rested for to-morrow; the 
ground will be too soft to work in cotton, so we 
shall cut brush. Good-night, boys." 



372 In the Wake of War 

"We wucks good, Mars Howard." they all 
declared. 

As Howard turned to go, Pleas noticed a black 
spot on the side of his neck, and called out: 
"Dare's a inud-splotter on de back yore naick, 
Mars Howard." 

"Thank you, Pleas, 1*11 wash it off, when I 
get to my room." 

It may have been mud; it may have been 
burnt cork. Who, besides Pleas, knows 'i 

"Mars Howard been co'tin'," said Pleas, 
when his master was out of hearing. ' ' Miss Mar- 
garet am a fine leddy; mighty fine. She 's one 
we-all folks; she set gret sto' on Mars Howard. 
He go thar 'bout err evenin'." 

Pleas seemed to think this explanation was 
necessary, lest some of his companions had no- 
ticed the spot on Howard's neck, and had drawn 
conclusions fi'om it. His precaution was unnec- 
essary; they were not in a mood to make deduc- 
tions. 

There was no general strike the next day. A 
few negroes quit work; but when they saw that 
they were in such a small minority, they returned. 
The officers at Kosciusko had a thin harvest from 
this effort. Several days passed before they knew 
the reason for the frustration of their plan; the 
colored men worked by day, and did not venture 
through the darkness to attend the League meet- 
ings at night. The financiers who had planned 
this master stroke, in the hope of being paid from 
five to twenty-five dollars for each negro who 
should be induced to return to work, became 
alarmed. They thought they were losing the 



Doctrine of Sadducees Confounded 373 

confidence of the black people; that the old re- 
lation of master and man was being restored, at 
least so far as influence was concerned. 

But the Walking Delegates brought in the 
news, after a time. Then the officers saw that 
they were outwitted. They knew that the super- 
stition of the negro was a strong element of his 
character; they learned later that it outweighed 
gratitude, patriotism, hunger, and revenge. 

When the Grand Cyclops called the Den to 
order at its next meeting, a comparison of notes 
disclosed that Eli appeared at ten difl'erent places 
in the county that night, at precisely 8 o'clock. 

Truly, his was an onmipresent spirit, for some 
of the places were separated by fifteen miles. No 
less than forty visits were made by him during his 
two hours' respite, and he spread terror to hun- 
dreds of evil-doers. 

But Eli was not without consideration and com- 
passion. He would have been glad to save these 
poor, deluded wretches their discomfort, and would 
have preferred to strike at the fountain-head of 
the iniquity — the official circle at Kosciusko, only 
this did not seem to be practicable. At least, that 
was asserted at the meeting of the Den, as Eli's 
honest sentiment. Those who knew, said he did 
what he could, not what he wanted to do. 

Again the negroes were quiet. The conspira- 
tors, who lived to keep them in a ferment that 
gold might come from it, were forming new 
plans. 



XXXVII 

Vanity Fair, Done in Colors 

SINCE the pioneers from Yirginia and North 
Carolina came over the Blue Hidge Mountain, 
and founded a new commonwealth, First Monday 
has been a holiday. On this day County Court 
sits; and magistrates, one from each Civil Dis- 
trict, who compose this formidable tribunal, ride 
to the county seat, there to consider, smoke upon, 
and sometimes dispatch the weighty public affairs 
that come up for disposition or delay. In an early 
day, when the court was first established, the al- 
lowance of bounties for wolf-scalps and other like 
ponderous matters engaged the deliberations of 
this numerous bench. Latterly, since the wolf 
has passed from life to history, equally pressing- 
demands of modern civilization serve to keep this 
body serious and contemplative. 

Not only do the judges of this court ride to the 
county seat the first Monday of each month, but 
since the earliest days of Tennessee as a State, 
this day has been kept inviolate for family mar- 
keting, horse trading, collecting and paying debts, 
telling stories and anecdotes. No institution is 
more firmly established in Tennessee than First 
Monday; no custom more sacredly observed. 

When the officers of the Freedmen^s Bureau 
reformed the labor contracts at the time of the 
j&rst strike, they incorporated a provision that the 
negroes should have First Monday for a holiday. 

374 



Vanity Fair, Done in Colors 375 



And this was not bad ; why should not the colored 
brother enjoy all the privileges and advantages of 
civilization, especially as he soon was to become a 
full-fledged citizen ? There was yet another reason 
for this magnanimous provision: large numbers of 
peddlers and hawkers were coming down from the 
JSTorth, offering all sorts of wares to the Freed- 
men, and paying large sums to these oflicers for 
privilege licenses. These enterprising dealers 
could not reach the negroes by day, for they 
were in the field; the evening assemblages were 
too small and poor for profitable business. The 
income from privilege tax was threatened, and it 
was no inconsiderable source of revenue for the 
Carpet-Baggers. Accordingly, it was arranged 
not only that the colored people should have this 
holiday, but that they should be paid off the morn- 
ing of their frolic. 

This wise and considerate enactment put into 
the public square at Kosciusko, every First Mon- 
day, hundreds of negroes from all parts of the 
surrounding country, each with a sum of money 
in his pocket. This made a rich field for hawk- 
ers, and privilege taxes went kiting, even to 
twenty-five dollars for the day. 

County Court day, First Monday, for July, the 
second since the laborers' contracts were re- 
formed, opened auspiciously for the vendors of 
licenses, for there was a cordon of wagons and 
platforms on both sides of the oblong square. 
The black mass of negro humanity within the 
commercial rampart promised a good harvest to 
the peddlers. 

Entering at the northeast corner of the open. 



376 In the Wake of War 

one came first upon a light spring wagon, painted 
red, white, and bhie. The proprietor stood on 
a seat, calling and waving his hands lustily to 
attract his share of the crowd. He wore an old 
silk hat upon the back of his head, had his whis- 
kers cut after the pattern of Abraham Lincoln; 
and, aside from outlandish ta^te in dress, some- 
what resembled the picture of the martyred Presi- 
dent. His cravat was in national colors. Surely 
he was a patriotic man; those who flaunt the flag 
most vulgarly, pass for patriots. After this indi- 
vidual had drawn a reasonable crowd by voice 
and gyration, he unfolded his licensed mission as 
follows: "Ladies and gentlemen! my name is 
Smith; I am a Yankee from Connecticut, come 
down here as a representative of the great and 
good Government that has set you free. I am 
here to do you each and all a great benefit. I 
love my colored brethren; I am anxious to get 
them settled in life. You know that this South- 
ern country is all yours; these farms all belong to 
you, and very soon the Government is coming 
down here to divide these lands among you. You 
have heard of that before, but I auj here direct 
from Washington and want to tell you that the 
time will soon be up. These old Eebels who 
have wliipped, and kicked, and cuffed you for 
a thousand years back, are all going to be driven 
out. ' De marster run, ha, ha, de darky stay, 
ho, ho,' will be exactly true. Now, this is your 
country, remember that. But when the Govern- 
ment comes down here to divide this land, how 
are they to know what land you want ? The 
Government is very busy and you must do all 



Vanity Fair, Done in Colors 377 

you can to help tliein out; you must be ready for 
them. There is only one way: Just stake off 
your land, with authorized stakes, and when the 
Government comes, you will get your title. The 
Government will have no time to survey and 
drive stakes. I am right straight from Washing- 
ton, and while there I bought a lot of registered 
stakes, the only kind that the Government will 
recognize. I bought them at a bargain, I have 
the inside track through General Grant." 

The orator stopped for breath, and held up two 
common wood stakes, about an inch square and 
a foot long, pointed at one end. They were 
painted red, white and blue, like diminutive 
barber-poles. 

"Now, ladies and gentlemen, I will tell you 
how to use them. Go out anywhere and pick out 
forty acres of the best land you can find ; no matter 
where it is, no odds who claims to own it. Drive 
down a stake at each corner, and when the Gov- 
ernment comes, this forty acres will be yours; for 
no old Rebel will interfere with you; these Rebels 
are afraid of stakes from Washington. The price 
of these beautiful red, white and blue, painted, 
sandpapered and varnished stakes, is only one dol- 
lar. These, like the one I hold in my left hand, 
having the picture of Father Abe on it, are only 
one dollar and fifty cents each. Remember these 
are the only registered stakes outside of Wash- 
ington ; they are cheap at five dollars each. Now, 
ladies and gentlemen, you see I am here to help 
the poor colored people to get rich. Who will 
buy the first stake ? " A very black negro, stand- 
ing near the wagon, cried, "I, suh; gimme fo'." 



378 In the Wake of War 

" Do jou want one with the picture of our dear 
murdered President on it?" asked the philan- 
thropist. 

" Yas, suh; I wans dat fo' de main co'ner," 
answered the first purchaser, who proved to be a 
stranger and was in all probability a hired decoy. 

"A wise brother," shouted the merchant in the 
wagon. "The colored brother is learning how to 
get rich. Keep right on, dear brother; keep right 
on, and you will be as rich as Croesus, some day. 
Now, ladies and gentlemen, who next ? " 

He did a large business; before noon every stake 
was sold out of his wagon, and he drove back to 
the railroad station where he had a carload, and 
replenished his stock. 

Just below his wagon, on a raised platform, was 
a voodoo doctor openly practicing his nefarious 
craft. He had in his pocket a license, bearing 
the name of the county clerk and the seal of the 
County of Williams. The exercise of this dia- 
bolical trade was prohibited by every civilized 
government in the world, except the business 
administration of the South. 

A little further down was another democrat 
wagon, and the strong-lunged occupant was dis- 
coursing on hoop-skirts. 

"Here, ladies, are your great American, Mrs. 
Lincoln, hoop-skirts. I call them the Mrs. Lin- 
coln hoop-skirts; and why ? because they are made 
on the pattern worn by the widow of your dear 
deliverer. Here is a letter from Mrs. Lincoln en- 
dorsing my hoop-skirts. She says they are the 
latest style and that she approves of them. You 
can't trust your merchants down here; they are 



Vanity Fair, Done in Colors 379 

all Rebels. They won't sell you hoop-skirts, any- 
way. I am from Indiana, where every lady, black 
and white, wears hoop-skirts. If these Rebels 
get control of this country again they won't let 
you colored ladies wear hoop-skirts; they will 
make it against the law. But we are running 
this country. Now, who will bo the fii'st to buy 
one of these beautiful skirts 1 Only two dollars 
and a half each; worth five or six dollars." 
While keeping a running fire of this commercial 
eloquence, the fellow did a large business. His 
goods were worthless; but they had red bands and 
brass buckles, and sold rapidly. 

Next came a fright, in personal appearance. 
His blonde hair hung in pipe-stem curls half-way 
down his back; he wore a great white sombrero, 
with wide, flaring brim. "Here's your face 
and hands bleach, ladies and gents. This won- 
derful preparation is warranted to change the 
color of yom* skin from black to white. It 's 
made 'way up in Yermont, by a secret and won- 
derful process. It is endorsed by General Grant, 
President Johnson, and your Governor. The 
preachers all over the country declare it is won- 
derful stuff, I can't tell you all about its make, 
but I '11 tell you a little. Away up in Vermont 
the swamp-elm trees grow very big, as wide 
across as my buggy box is long. We cut down 
a tree, scoop out the top of the stump until it will 
hold about half a barrel of water. On Friday 
night, the last Friday in the month, in the dark 
of the moon, a terrible thunder-storm comes up, 
and the rain falls into this scooped-out place and 
fills it plumb full. If the lightning strikes a tree 



380 In the Wake of War 

within one hundred yards of this stump, we know 
that the water is perfect. We let the water stand 
in the stump until the thirteenth day of the next 
month, then we dip it out carefully, so as to make 
no blubbers, and submit it to a secret process. 
Now that I have told you honestly and truthfully 
about my wonderful bleach, who will be the first 
to buy ? Only one dollar for one of these beauti- 
ful bottles of this wonderful bleach. Ah, thank 
you lady. Who next ? " 

Business rolled in on this benefactor of a race 
of despised color, but he found time to continue 
his harangue. " These Rebels hate you because 
you are black. They won't let you marry white 
men and women, simply because you are black. 
Use my wonderful bleach, and then you can 
marry anybody. Just as good for gentlemen as 
it is for ladies. Five bottles are warranted to 
change the blackest skin to pure white, and leave 
nice red cheeks into the bargain. One dollar per 
bottle, live bottles, with my picture thrown in. 
for five dollars." 

As an evidence of good faith, this enterprising 
fellow took the names of all who bought. He 
promised to come and see them the following 
First Monday, and feared he should not recognize 
them as white persons. 

Then came a woman, in fantastic dress, selling 
love potions. The stuff, whatever it was, came 
in three papers, like doctor's powders, only the 
wrappers were red, white and blue. She prom- 
ised, on her word of honor as a lady, that these 
powders would conquer the most obstinate person 
living, "And without any regard to color," she 



Vanity Fair, Done in Colors 381 

cried. "For instance, you are a colored lady 
and love some gent. All you have to do is to 
give him the powder in the red paper, and before 
the end of twenty-foar hours he will love yon. 
But before giving the red powder to him, you 
must take the blue powder yourself. When all is 
lovely, mix the white powder in water, and both 
drink of it; then you will love forever. Oh, 
love, love ! that makes the world go round ! Only 
fifty cents for the three ! Who next ? Come up 
ladies and gentlemen; be happy, be happy!" 
This creature sold a bushel of these powders. 

On the other side of the square there was a no 
less choice collection of merchandisers. 

' ' Warranted to cure rheumatism, gentlemen ! ' ' 
shouted one from the top of an overturned goods 
box. " You have all had that tired pain in your 
arms and legs, especially in the morning after 
a hard day's work. That is rheumatism. I had 
it for twenty years; I now carry this little brown 
charm in my pocket and have not had an ache or 
pain since." The charm was a nut from the 
buckeye tree. Strange as it may seem, this faker 
sold great quantities of these worthless nuts, at 
fifty cents each. 

From a spring wagon near the rheumatism doc- 
tor came a mighty voice: " Ladies and gentlemen, 
I am the discoverer of a wonderful hair straight- 
ener and bleach. My name is Professor Mc Iwen, 
and I come from Washington, the home of Abra- 
ham Lincoln. This beautiful lady that you see 
sitting in my wagon," pointing to a rather flashy 
looking person, of the variety described by a great 
American humorist as ' ' saleratus blonde, " " this 



382 In the Wake of War 

lady once had hair as black and kinky as any of 
you. Did n't you, Arabella ? " Arabella nodded 
assent. " My hair bleach and straiglitener did the 
business. Didn't it, Arabella?" Again Ara- 
bella nodded approval. " And ladies and gentle- 
men, it 's only one dollar per bottle. Come up ! 
Come up ! ! Come up ! ! ! and buy the only Pro- 
fessor Mc I wen's straightener and bleach. " The 
presence of the fair Arabella seemed to help trade. 
She took in the money, smiling patronizingly on 
every black face that brought its dollar. 

Next came the vendor of halter-straps. He 
had a choice collection of straps, of proper length, 
with a brass-plated snap on the end. " You know, 
gentlemen, that you are to have a mule to go with 
that forty acres of land. How can you lead him 
away after the Government has given him to you ? 
Not with a rope, for these Rebels would take him 
away from you. These elegant straps came from 
Washington, right out of Congress building. Ev- 
ery old Rebel knows them; every old Rebel trem- 
bles when he sees them. Buy one for your mule; 
you will have to have it. Only one dollar to-day; 
two dollars after sun-down to-night. The Supreme 
Court of this great Government has decided these 
halter-straps good and valid. Get ready for the 
great mule division! Who next? who next?" 

In a rusty tent sat a twisted crone, made up to 
look old and wrinkled like the proverbial witch. 
From a cracked scrap of looking-glass she was 
reading the destinies of such of the poor, igno- 
rant blacks as her "business agent," who stood 
in front of the swinging flaps, could induce to pay 
one dollar for a forecast. She had no word of 



Vanity Fair, Done in Colors 383 

discouragement; the future for all was bright and 
roseate. Farm laborers who could neither read 
nor write were promised judgeships, the rank of 
major-general, or seats in Congress — each ac- 
cording to his desire. The wealth of the globe 
was freely pledged; the negro was already in- 
oculated with the virus of our civilization, be- 
fore he had come to full participation, and had 
taken on a desire to own and control things, and 
a mania for money. The direct and positive as- 
surances of this chartered impostor brought her 
enormous business; the poor people anxiously 
awaited their turn to be swindled. 

A fitting neighbor to this charlatan was Pro- 
fessor Bumper, who declared that he was the 
most celebrated, world-renowned, much-sought- 
after phrenologist, living or dead. That was his 
statement, and no person stood up to challenge 
the claim. After a long and tiresome discom'se 
on the beauties and advantages of the exact sci- 
ence that had claimed the best years of his life, he 
induced a few woolly heads to be examined, and 
wrote out charts of great intellectual promise. 
The ever-duped negroes paid two dollars for each 
of these performances, although not one of the 
investors could read the diagram of his mental 
possibilities. 

There was a plenty of other swindlers and fa- 
kers; there was not an honest enterprise under 
license. The legal guardian of the negro, the 
National Government, was asleep; the agent of 
this guardian had yielded to temptation; the natu- 
ral guardian, the white man of the South, was 
helpless, voiceless. 



384 In the Wake of War 

In the face of scenes like those enacted at 
Kosciusko, and scores of other Southern cities in 
those dark days, the beautiful old allegory of 
Christian and Faithful becomes weak and pointless. 
The scurvy traffic set up by Beelzebub, Apollyon 
and Legion, in the dream-made City of Vanity, 
was eclipsed in a hundred places in our own fair 
land. Poor John Bunyan ! The utmost flight 
of his magnificent fancy was discredited a thou- 
sand times by Carpet-Bagger ingenuity ! 

Yery few negroes carried any money from the 
public square on the evening of the second gen- 
eral holida3\ Yet the press of the North exploited 
the parental foresight that had provided to the 
poor freedmen one day in each month for frolic. 

After the close of a successful day of merchan- 
dising, the imposters, in company with their co- 
conspirators, the officers, betook themselves to 
a meeting of the League. They all were mem- 
bers. And such of the colored people as had the 
hardihood to go out after night, got much valuable 
advice and instruction from the visiting brethren. 

At midnight the drowsy old town of Kosciusko 
had resumed its normal state, and was sound 
asleep. Everything was quiet. Nor did the ten 
men in fantastic, flowing robes, each riding a 
horse with muffled feet and blanket reaching to 
the ground, disturb the general quiet. They 
awakened only a few of the occupants in the old 
hotel. But such of the trafficking knaves as were 
driving through the country practicing their in- 
famous trades from wagons, found, when they had 
dressed with the help of the masked men, their 
horses geared and waiting at the door. The 



Vanity Fair, Done in Colors 385 

women were not disturbed. Those who were not 
provided with conveyances were invited to take 
seats; and the whole cavalcade moved out of 
the town toward the North, under guard of the 
ten mysterious horsemen. Not a word was 
spoken; the captives made no show of indiscre- 
tion. Three miles out the leader of the escort 
delivered a short address, which the other nine 
repeated in unison, like responsive reading. They 
advised the swindlers to betake themselves to their 
old fields, and never again to return to Kosciusko, 
for fear of inciting the wrath of the Mystic Den 
of the * *. This wholesome advice closed with 
the chorus: " So says the Grand Cyclops, and he 
must be obeyed." 

Towards morning a bonfire broke out on the 
square, but the town did not awake. The next 
day, as the men met to whittle sticks and discuss 
the affairs of First Monday, they were attracted 
by a pile of reeking ashes. Nobody seemed to 
understand it. "Some mischievous urchins have 
been burnin' goods boxes, I reckon, " said one. 
But when they saw the charred butts of some 
painted stakes, a few brass-plated snaps, masses 
of molten glass and a dozen buckeyes about the 
suburbs of the recent conflagration, they allowed 
that something might have happened during the 
night. 

The negroes had defenders, or rather avengers; 
and vengeance is often the most available substi- 
tute for defense. 



25 



XXXVIII 
In Which the * * Extends Its Beneficent Operations 

THE moral effect of this, the iBjst systematic 
raid of Mystic Den, was remarkable. The 
absolute secrecy of the expedition, the wonderful 
precision of movement, the mystery of numbers 
and personnel, the daring of the enterprise in 
conception and execution, more than all else, the 
perfect and harmonious success of the whole 
affair, showed an unknown master-liand that few 
were ready to cope with. The fame of the inva- 
sion spread like gossip; people began to ask one 
of another: " Where do these spooks come from? 
Who leads them?" No one could tell. Only 
ten men in the world knew, and they have never 
spoken. The most intimate friends, even the 
families of the participants in that brief adven- 
ture, never knew the names of those who rode in 
the silent escort. 

To the ten this incomprehensible property was 
a source of some satisfaction, and perhaps, of 
inward pride. In fact, the thing was getting too 
good to keep, so they agreed to extend the mem- 
bership. Numbers judiciously selected would add 
strength, both in suggestion and performance — 
a hundred men of proper quality could be trusted 
as well as ten. Accordingly, at the next meeting 
of the Den, each member suggested the name of 
a friend, and then and there the community was 
doubled. 

386 



The * * Extends Its Operations 387 

From that night the meetings lost their infor- 
mality; henceforth full and elaborate ceremony 
was observed. Members lost their individnality; 
the name of no man was spoken. All were dis- 
guised; neither face nor form could be recognized 
under the flowing gown of the order. Thus the 
accident that first invented and played a trick to 
keep the negroes from carousing at night, now 
became a serious business; it was a wonderful 
power; it made history, and restrained many a 
foul act that otherwise would have polluted the 
page of history. 

Conscious of strength, the members began to 
consider methods for regulating all the abuses 
that were reported. But remedies were not 
always at hand; plan as they would, only a small 
proportion of the cases were met. The inge- 
nuity of the Carpet-Baggers for creating outrage, 
exceeded their genius for defense. 

The meeting at which the membership was 
increased, was otherwise an important one. 
After the strange ceremony of initiation had been 
enacted, and the order, "Protection of Women 
and Children" was called, several instances of 
flagrant insults to ladies from the negroes were 
related. The word dropped by Felix Grayson 
to the negro woman, Maria, had brought abun- 
dant harvest. Ladies had been driven from the 
sidewalk into the gutter, had been jeered and 
hooted at on the street, and were daily suflPering 
other indignities. In every case the negroes were 
well known; there was no danger of mistaken 
identity. In fact, four negro men seemed to 
have been detailed to administer these humiliations. 



388 In the Wake of War 

During the discussion that followed, one rather 
tall young man arose and said; "May it please 
the Grand Cyclops to listen to the humble sugges- 
tion of a faithful Ghoul! These poor, ignorant 
blacks are not to blame for this conduct, bad as it 
is; they are but the tools of designing men. We 
ought, if possible, to reach the source of all this 
infamy — the cowardly officials at Kosciusko. 
Surely the negroes will have to be checked, or 
they will make this country uninhabitable for 
white people, except of a certain stripe and kid- 
ney. But their punishment ought to be inciden- 
tal. Let's first try and reach the power that 
invents and incites all this deviltry; we can attend 
to Cuffy any time." 

"Will the White Gown suggest, not general- 
ize?" asked the Grand Cj^clops. 

"I can't quite make out how to do what it 
seems to me ought to be done. Can not some 
Ghoul here tell us some way of getting at the 
powers at Kosciusko ? ' ' appealed the tirst speaker. 

"Duck 'em in the Creek, "" cried another, from 
behind his mask. 

"That never would do; we must keep our 
watercourses clear," said the Grand Cyclops. 

"The suggestion of the Ghoul that first spoke 
is very humane, but it 's not sense. We can get 
at those fellows in Kosciusko quickest and best 
through the negroes. Already this circle has cut 
off three-fourths of the abuses, simply by opera- 
ting on the blacks. Let 's follow up our previous 
successes; we 're working along proper lines. 
These loafers that spend their time standing on 
street corners for the purpose of insulting and 



The * * Extends Its Operations 389 

terrorizing our ladies, know better. All they 
need is to have their memory jogged a little, and 
then they will realize what they know already, 
namely: This is the white man's country. That 
done, we shall have no further trouble on the 
score. I propose, may it please the Grand 
Cyclops, that these negroes who are known 
beyond a doubt to be offenders, be given ten 
lashes each." 

"Ten lashes each, is the decree," said the 
Grand Cyclops, in a sepulchral tone. 

"Ten lashes each, is the decree," repeated 
twenty muffled voices. 

Two nights after this, eight horsemen, ac- 
coutred as the ten were on the night following 
First Monday, rode silently into Kosciusko, and 
straight . to the cabins in which the four offenders 
lived. They took the negroes from their beds, 
and without ado carried them to the outskirts of 
the town, where each was given a lecture in two 
parts: first, on the predominance of the white 
man; second, on the crime of an insult from 
a black man to a white woman. Then the decree 
of the Den was executed in most parental 
manner. 

This was the first case of corporal punishment 
inflicted by the * * . It was done to save the 
South for a white man's country. It was done in 
the name of Home. The crime thus avenged was 
enormous, not so much in the act, as in the prece- 
dent, for if it had been left unchecked it would 
have resulted in social overthrow for the Section. 
The punishment was unauthorized by law, but it 
was inadequate justice. 



390 In the Wake of War 

For weeks after this incident matters moved 
quietly. Negroes under contract stayed at their 
work. The Union League was mighty near de- 
serted, save by the loafers who refused to bind 
themselves by contract, and lived on the meagre 
bounty of the Freedmen's Bureau. This latter 
class had been relied upon to do odd jobs and 
dirty work for the officers, but since the opera- 
tions of the Silent Army, they had become con- 
firmed vagabonds — they would not work, even 
for the men who gave them scanty rations. 

The officers once more attempted to bring 
about a strike, and failing of this, they began 
a systematic effort to conquer the superstition of 
the negro. For immediate results, they under- 
took new fields of enterprise; they gave more 
attention to State politics. 



XXXIX 

Another Glimpse at Home Life 

INVITATIONS were issued for a quiet wedding 
at Saunders' Lodge. Thej were not elaborate, 
nor expensive; they even were not engraved, but 
were written in a plain, readable hand by Mary 
Lou. Civilization had not then reached that ad- 
vanced stage when to have one's handwriting read 
was a positive disgrace. 

The Graysons, the Lewises, the Bosworths, and 
three other families were honored with these mod- 
est missives. Captain Avery was asked on the 
special request of Howard, and as a compromise 
with Mr. Dodge, who wanted to have present the 
whole kit and boodle of authority at Kosciusko. 
He wanted to show them "How we do business 
down here in the South." 

In spite of Mr. Dodge, the event was the very 
refinement of simplicity. Again every Southern 
gentleman present declared, on his favorite exple- 
tive, that the bride was the most beautiful that 
ever stood at the altar. And they all meant it, 
too. Major Lewis was especially eloquent. 
Avery protested, in an aside to Mary Lou, that 
he knew of only one young lady in the land who 
could excel Margaret in bridal loveliness, but he 
was not asked to name that person. 

Ranged back of the white guests, like a black 
fringe, were Pleas, Uncle Phil, Aunt Manda, and 
old Uncle Sam. Aunt Manda kissed both bride 

391 



392 In the Wake of War 

and groom; Uncle Phil distinguished himself with 
several fervent responses of "Ahman." These 
he did not bestow with perfect knowledge of the 
printed ceremony, but he made good with Metho- 
dist zeal and Episcopalian accent. 

For this occasion the Grayson family jewels 
were raised from the bottom of Opal Creek, where 
they were deposited early in the war by Uncle 
Phil, and were divided equally between Margaret 
and Mary Lou. The latter made her protest, se- 
rious and honest, insisting that Margaret should 
have them all; but the division stood. 

Contrary to custom, the bride bestowed upon 
the groom a gift, unique and rare. In the pres- 
ence of the assembled company, Margaret deliv- 
ered to Howard the sealed envelope that had so 
long been in the keeping of Mary Lou. On be- 
ing opened, it was found to contain the long-lost 
deed from Mr. Dodge to Margaret, executed in 
Canada, and a like conveyance from her to How- 
ard Grayson. The latter instrument was acknowl- 
edged at Atlanta, Georgia, in November, 1862. 
There was a brief letter enclosed, but this was not 
displayed. It ran: 

' ' My dear Howard : — 

Please keep Mother's grave sacred, and never let it 
pass into the neglect of strangers. This is the last 
wish of your Margaret." 

When Mr. Dodge saw the deeds he cried: 
" Ah, Howard, just the very thing ! You remem- 
ber I told you as much, six weeks ago; there is 
your title. John Dodge always keeps his word, 
yes, siree ! This will make a fine addition to 
Elmington; just what you need. But Margaret 



Another Glimpse at Home Life 393 

played it on her father; yes, yes. Oh, she 's her 
father's daughter; she 's smart. I congratulate 
you again, Howard, my son ! This has been a 
good business stroke for you; always keep your 
eyes open for a good business stroke. I suppose 
you will let me stay here a little time; you won't 
throw me out this evening? " 

" There v/ill be no change here," said Howard, 
thoughtfully. "I don't quite understand this 
matter; but I reckon Margaret has plans, and 
being a married man, I must consult my wife." 

"That's right, Howard, that's right; always 
consult your wife. That 's the way I used to do, 
and things went pleasantly at Saunders' Lodge. 
The man who don't consult his wife is in trouble, 
then and there. Women like to have a man 
running to them for advice; it makes them feel 
important. Of course, they have no advice to 
give; they always say, 'Do as you think best, my 
dear,' but that is a big consolation; yes, siree. 
If I do well when I get up North again, I '11 give 
you and Margaret the whole plantation; and it 's 
as good as yours to-day, for I shall make money 
up there. Lots of business up there, and such a 
climate ! You ought to see that climate ! No 
biliousness up there. It saved my life in '61." 

Mr. Dodge monopolized the conversation for 
two hours, but the substance of his utterances is 
already recorded. 

When Avery was preparing to take leave, he 
said to Mary Lou: " May I call to see you to- 
morrow afternoon; and can we have one more 
of those old-time rides ? I have new orders and 
shall soon be leaving this part of the country." 



394 In the Wake of War 

"You to leave Williams County, Captain 
Avery ? We-all shall miss you from our narrow, 
little lives. I hope you are not going soon? " 

' Very soon, if I remain in the service. After 
hearing Mr. Dodge discourse on the value of 
ladies' advice, I decided to ask you for some." 

" Oh, I warn you that we women advise en- 
tirely from the point of our interest, or whim. 
Major Lewis says we have no interests, only 
whims, and I believe he is right. We shall be 
glad to see you at Elmington to-morrow; Marga- 
ret and Howard will be there. ' ' 

"Can't we have just one more ride ? ' 

"That is delightfully plaintive, for a soldier, 
and a fierce Yankee soldier, at that. Let me tell 
you, Captain Avery, we girls love to be pleaded 
with more than to be advised with. Perhaps we 
may ride; don't ask me to promise so far ahead." 

Not daunted by this pleasantry, Captain Avery 
appeared before Elmington the following day, 
mounted on a hired horse and leading Pomp for 
Mary Lou. She made several flimsy excuses, 
expressly to see if the Captain would have the 
courage to attack and demolish them. Howard 
and Margaret finally came to the rescue, and sent 
Mary Lou to dress for the ride, for Avery was 
showing signs of defeat. 

"Your brother is a very happy man," said 
Avery, to start the conversation. 

' ' Why should he not be ? Margaret is the 
sweetest and best thing on earth ! She is just 
perfect; I would not change one thing in her, if 
I could. Beautiful, bright, stylish, sweet-tem- 
pered, resolute; what else could one ask?" 



Another Glimpse at Home Life 395 

" She is all you claim, except the sweetest 
thing on earth. I know another who has all the 
graces, and adds one more quality — an artistic 
nature." 

' ' A Yankee, I reckon ? ' ' 

"Well, no, not exactly a Yankee," answered 
Avery, quick to grasp what he thought was an 
advantage. ' ' Wish she were a Yankee ; perhaps 
she would not treat me so contemptuously, if she 
were. ' ' 

"Oh, Margaret has a highly artistic tempera- 
ment; that is what I mean by stylish," said Mary 
Lou, affecting not to notice his last remark. 
"Why were you trying to shock us yesterday 
evening by saying that you were going away? " 

" I meant exactly what I said, Miss Mary Lou," 
answered Avery, bluntly ' ' I either go or resign 
from the service. I tried a year ago to consult with 
you about resigning, but j'ou only made sport of 
me. I don't like to go from here; I have been 
happy here; happier at Elmington with you pok- 
ing fun at me for my misfortune in having been 
born a Yankee, than in any other place in the 
world." 

"I never 'poke fun,' as you call it, at your 
misfortunes. Besides, I never thought you were 
ashamed of your birth-land. I thought you proud 
of the hustle, as Mr. Dodge calls it, of your peo- 
ple. I thought you hated Rebels, one and all. 
You flatter some of us, just to be agreeable, but 
you don't like us." 

"That is where you are mistaken, pardon the 
flat contradiction. A soldier loves a manly foe 
more than he does a dos: of a comrade. After 



396 fN THE Wake of War 

all, I begin to think that men are better than 
political principles. But I don't want to go away; 
I can't do it. I believe I '11 just settle down here 
at Kosciusko, and quit the service." 

"And become sheriff? That would be well; 
we shall then have a more honorable officer." 

" More honorable ? " he asked. 

"Pardon me, entirely honorable, I am sure." 

Avery now discovered that he was again be- 
coming entangled in Mary Lou's badinage, but he 
seemed helpless to straighten the skein. Every 
effort to lead the conversation to a point from 
which he could make a declaration in natural and 
easy sequence, was unavailing. She did not ap- 
pear to be aware of the trend of his purpose; she 
evidently thought him flirting, and fenced him 
back as one who preferred not to meet him on 
open ground. This drove him to desperation, 
and forgetting all premeditated plans, he launched 
bluntly into the subject. He declared his love 
fervently and eloquently; then zeal took full pos- 
session of his faculties, and he argued it all out, 
before yielding for an answer. There was a touch 
of despair in his impassioned appeal — a brute fury 
against conscious defeat — that was pathetic. 

It was some moments before Mary Lou could 
trust herself to speak, although the great expanse 
of his harangue had given her abundant time to 
recover from the shock of surprise. 

"This revelation pains me more than I can tell. 
Captain Avery. I never thought it; believe me, 
never once. Am I to blame ? What have I been 
doing ? " 

' ' Then you hate me, as I feared ! ' ' 



Another Cliivipse at Home Life 397 

"No! No! Please don't do me that injus- 
tice. But there is a wide space between hate and 
— and — love, for friendship — for horse-back 
rides, for light talk, and — and flirtations." 

"No, be frank; you hate me because I 'm a 
Yankee!" he said, almost savagely. 

"On the contrary, Captain Avery, you are per- 
sonally very agreeable to me," she answered, 
gently. "In your presence I sometimes forget 
that you are one of the thousands that were try- 
ing for four years to kill my brother." 

" You could not love a Yankee ? " he insisted. 

"A woman never loves but once; I can not say 
that I ever loved a Yankee. ' ' 

"But your brother cherishes no resentment." 

"Nor do I, very much; although the women 
of the South are not so forgiving as our men. 
"We are more narrow; we never had the chance 
to 'fight it out,' as brother says." 

"Then I may not even love you?" 

"I think best that you do not." And there 
was resolution in that quiet answer. 

" Shall we have any more rides, before I go ? " 

"If we can ride with a perfect understanding, 
I do not object. On second thought, perhaps it 
were better not; I can not answer that now." 

They did not ride again. Mary Lou gave him 
the answer as he left Elmington that evening. 
The next day, he was gone. 

Mary Lou complained of a headache after her 
ride and took to her room. Nor did she recover 
the next day, nor the day following that. It was 
a fierce struggle; but, for the time, the spirit of 
the South prevailed. 



XL 

Another Abuse Is Corrected 

THE summer had passed; the corn was laid by; 
cotton picking was at hand. This particular 
time of year was the happiest of all, in the olden 
days. The negro always sang at his work, 
whether planting, thinning-out or hoeing; but the 
song of picking time was a brighter, cheerier 
melody. Then the work went more rapidly, in 
fact it was the only season of rush on the planta- 
tion, for the staple once ready for gathering must 
be quickly taken from the dead plant or an ill day 
will ruin the whole product. 

This was the golden period for a strike; the 
officers at Kosciusko were quick to discover such 
an opportunity. A dozen black vagabonds were 
sent through the county by twos, to spread 
among the negroes the order to lay off from 
work. 

The second day of their pilgrimage, each pair 
found hospitable entertainment wherever they 
chanced to be at evening; they found themselves 
honored guests, although their arrival was appar- 
ently unannounced. 

Pleas c?ime upon the two that delivered the 
message to the hands at Elmington, seemingly by 
the veriest chance, and insisted that they stay and 
help at the feast of 'possum, the catch of the 
night before. That Pleas, whom the colored men 
thought a spy and informer, should suddenly 

398 



Another Abuse Is Corrected 399 

turn host, did not militate against the prospective 
dinner, nor suggest a suspicion of motive to the 
weary delegates. That they were hospitably 
received, when those to whom they brought mes- 
sages did not like to be seen having speech with 
them, did not excite their mistrust. They only 
remembered that they were hungry for 'possum, 
and that since they had existed on the meagre 
bounty of the Federal Government, their appe- 
tites for this and all other negro luxuries had 
grown painfully abnormal. 

To half-fed negroes, Pleas's entertainment was 
sumptuous. Had they been less ravenous, they 
would have noticed that a portion of the food 
must have come from the great house. But they 
were too content to be analytical, and it was 
quite dark when the last bone was tossed into the 
fireplace and they started for home. 

On some pretense of caution, the crafty host 
had blown out the light; and when the cabin 
door was opened there shone on the middle panel 
two stars of four prongs each, somewhat resem- 
bling two letters K. These symbols seemed to 
burn and glow bright and clear in the darkness. 
Consternation took the whole party, and they 
refused to go out. Pleas affected to be as badly 
scared as any of them, but he managed to 
whisper: — 

" H'ist de winder; crawl out dat way. Caint 
stay hyear; 'tain' safe." 

They managed to crawl through the window, 
and once outside quickly left the cabalistic writing 
behind. Pleas guided them through the house- 
lot to the pike, and bade the two disturbers good- 



400 In the Wake of War 

night, and they started off down the road on their 
three-mile tramp to town. They had no fear, be- 
yond the ever-present superstition of their race; 
they had quite forgotten the secret order; it had 
not ridden for some weeks, and the disappear- 
ance of Eli had become a legend. They thought 
themselves safe as soon as they were outside of 
Pleas 's cabin, and trudged toward home without 
concern. 

But alas for human calculation ! Scarcely 
were they well on the road, when they met four 
men on horseback, robed and accoutered after the 
frightful fashion of the midnight raiders. Not a 
word was spoken; the two negroes stood shaking 
of terror; the horsemen made room, two turning 
out on either side. But when they came quite 
abreast of the affrighted negroes the riders sud- 
denly became monsters. These men on horse- 
back, who seemed at first to be of average height, 
shot instantly upward until their heads were full 
eight feet above their horses' backs. Accompany- 
ing this movement came an unearthly yell. 

The horses stopped; a heavy, guttural voice 
said: "All negroes must stop in their cabins at 
night ! " And three other heavy, guttural voices 
echoed in perfect unison: " In — their — cabins; so 
— says — the — Grand — Cyclops — and — he — must 
be — obeyed." And the giant horsemen rode on, 
leaving the black men on their knees, praying and 
pleading for mercy. 

The other agitators had similar experiences in 
different parts of the county. 

Some people believe to this good day that this 
incident was a systematic and organized raid by 



Another Abuse Is Corrected 401 

the Order of the Two Stars. Be that as it may, 
the strike failed; cotton picking proceeded ener- 
getically and uninterruptedly. The crop was 
small, but it was saved. The colored men who 
had worked for a share closed the season with a 
good sum to show for then* summer's toil, thanks 
to the interposition of the secret order. For had 
they followed the instructions of their legal guard- 
ians, their crop more than once would have been 
spoiled, unless the white men had paid the penalty 
exacted. 

As it was, the negroes had little left; the officers 
were plentiful in schemes for getting their last 
dollar. If the poor, ignorant ward did not buy 
some worthless trash from the licensed swindlers 
that swarmed the country, or refused to take a 
chance in the enticing game of " craps," he was 
induced to deposit his savings with the Freedmen's 
Savings and Trust Company, an illegal bank, 
chartered by Congress. A branch of this illicit 
enterprise was established at Nashville, and 
Sheriff Streeter was the agent in Kosciusko. 

On the cover of the pass-book of this incor- 
porated infamy was printed this topical legend: 
"This Benevolent institution is under the charter 
of Congress, and has received the commendation 
and countenance of President Lincoln." Seventy- 
two thousand deluded men under Governmental 
guardianship put their savings into this wretched 
trap. When the ends for which it was chartered 
were full}'- attained, the befooled depositors had 
four hundred dollars in Government bonds, the 
only available asset, to show for nearly two 
millions of savings. All the rest had been stolen 

26 



402 In the Wake of War 



outright, or under the flimsy guise of loans on 
real and personal property. One patriotic and 
philanthropic person, blessed with the one virtue 
of the times — vulgarly called a "pull" — had 
borrowed fifty thousand dollars of this blood- 
money on the pledge of his household furniture. 
Others, more favored, were not embarrassed by 
being asked for security. Political favorites and 
patriotic dead-beats got the savings; the men of 
respectability and wealth who lent their names to 
the business as directors and trustees, played the 
" baby act " — they knew nothing about it — and 
their prominence and influence saved them from 
having to make the poor justice of restitution. 

And when the Southern people raised a voice 
against the organization of this alleged bank; 
when they protested against its branches doing 
business in the different States (for by its charter 
it could not go outside the District of Columbia), 
they were shouted down by the one cry of the 
times: "Rebels! Rebels!" 

Few other disturbances were had; the negroes 
remained quiet; the officers were busy witli State 
politics. An occasional arrest on a trumped-up 
charge was made, but the Southern man had come 
to care little for that. The officers seemed to 
tire of petty earnings; they had enterprises in 
prospect of too great magnitude to justify them 
in giving a day's time to impose and collect a ten- 
dollar fine. The operations of the midnight raid- 
ers had rendered ineffective all attempts to extort 
money in large sums by the use of the negroes. 



XLI 

In Which Kosciusko Is Threatened with Great 
Prosperity 

TO the astonishment of all his friends, Mr. 
Dodge packed his trunk and started North in 
search of more active business. He had nothing 
definite in view; he simply longed for commer- 
cial conquest. For months he had tried to break 
into the official circle at Kosciusko, after noting 
its unusual opportunities for business; but the 
ring was complete and harmonious; there was no 
room for him. 

At Nashville, where he stopped off for some 
days to air his views on important matters, he 
came into companionship with a Mr. Ashmore — 
J. Phillip Ashmore, Chicago, the enamelled card 
announced. This gentleman was in Tennessee 
looking after, or "working up," as he styled it, 
a railroad contract. The magnificence of his proj- 
ect, and the graceful volubility with which he 
threw off large figures in setting it forth, en- 
thralled the ambitious Dodge, who quickly became 
his disciple. 

The proposed railroad was to split Williams 
County in twain, from east to west, in its majestic 
course from the Atlantic to the Pacific. Kosci- 
usko was to become the most important station on 
the line between its oceanic terminals, the location 
of its principal office, the seat of all its gigantic 
operations. Of course, all this was on paper. 

403 



404 In the Wake of War 



Like all the great schemes that were being put to 
nest, the Capital of the State was its main office, 
the General Assembly its field of active opera- 
tions. The bonus had to be arranged for; the 
charter had to be voted. 

This enormous enterprise had started during 
the last days of the preceding session of the Leg- 
islature, and little headway had been made before 
adjournment. But, thanks to the patriotic spirit 
that was then rampant, a largo number of the 
members had subserved personal interests to pub- 
lic weal, and had remained in Nashville through 
the short recess in order to become thoroughly 
informed on this and other like undertakings. 
Mr. Ashmore had devoted several weeks to the 
instruction of these statesmen, and had already 
invested three-fourths of his promotion capital in 
educating and persuading them. And now, at 
the time of his chance acquaintance with Mr. 
Dodge, he only awaited the reassembling of the 
Legislature for the formal ratification of his proj- 
ect; the terms of the bonus were agreed to by 
the leaders of both bodies; the charter was 
written. 

But strange to say, for all the prospective mil- 
lions involved, for all his enormous investment 
in dinners, wines and unmentionable entertain- 
ments for legislators, Mr. Ashmore had never 
been south of Nashville. He spoke confidently 
of his preliminary survey, as if it had been a 
thing more serious than a man riding through the 
country on horseback. Yet, on the report of 
a holiday canter, by a man drawing two dollars 
per day and expenses, the financier had caused to 



Kosciusko Threatened with Prosperity 405 

be made maps and drawings that would have con- 
verted the most apathetic to the necessity of 
building his road. When the guardian statesmen 
liad been suitably prepared for the exhibition, 
and were brought to contemplate those magnifi- 
cent elevations and profiles, they wondered how 
the great Commonwealth had so long maintained 
her place in geography without the Atlantic, 
Kosciusko and Pacific Railroad, Iron and Coal 
Company. 

These maps were so plain and simple ! True, 
they had elaborate yellow borders, but that did 
not detract from their veracity. The sweeping 
rivers were in dark blue, the twisting creeks in 
light blue, mountain ranges in fuzzy black streaks, 
roads and turnpikes in pink, iron ore beds in brown 
splatters, coal layers in red blots, timber in pur- 
ple, and cotton and corn land in green. Nothing 
was concealed; everything stood out as plainly as 
the dome on the old State House. 

And yet, the master-mind had never been in 
Kosciusko, the very centre of all his prospective 
development. He had never seen the ground on 
which the depot, freight house and office buildings 
were to be erected. Mr. Dodge was practical; he 
proposed to introduce the creator to his own en- 
terprise. 

Accordingly, the two appeared one fine morn- 
ing at Kosciusko, and Mr. Dodge got a team and 
drove Mr. Ashmore over the southern portion of 
the town. The map showed the railroad as en- 
tering that quarter, and Mr. Dodge had no notion 
of doing violence to the genius of the geographer. 

At sight of a level spread of pasture and 



406 In the Wake of War 



meadow, comprising some forty acres, the visit- 
ing financier exclaimed: "•There's the identical 
spot, by gosh; there 's our terminal ground. 
There ain't no reason why I should n't arrange 
to buy it to-day. Who claims that tract of land, 
driver? " he asked, imperiously, of the negro that 
drove the team. 

" Doan know, suh," answered the colored man. 

"That belongs to Anton Nelson, an old and 
very dear friend of mine. I will introduce you to 
Mr. Nelson, Mr. Ashmore; glad to do it; you are 
both my friends. You ought " 

" Drive to this Anton's house, at once, nigger," 
cut in the man from Chicago, who evidently had 
learned how to silence Mr. Dodge. 

Without waiting to enquire about such trifling 
matters as title, or possession, or survey, Mr. Ash- 
more announced his selection of the ground for 
the use of station and switch system. He did not 
ask if it was for sale; he simply demanded to 
know the price. 

" Keally, Mr. Ashmore, I never have made a 
price on that little scrap of land," answered Mr. 
Nelson, deliberately. "It suits me very well as 
a pasture for my horse and cow — right here at 
town, you see. Then I cut a bit of fodder there 
for winter. I never have thought of selling it. ' ' 

"Name your price, Mr. Nelson," insisted the 
Chicago man. 

" Yes, yes, my dear old friend, business is busi- 
ness. What will you take for it ? My friend, Mr. 
Ashmore, is from up North and does business 
quickly. Name the figure and we shall have a 
trade in a minute," Mr. Dodge put in. 



Kosciusko Threatened with Prosperity 407 

Mr. Nelson stood immovable for a few moments, 
looking fixedly down the street, as if he saw a 
train coming over the new line. Then a cloud 
passed over his countenance, as if he had parted 
forever from some old friend. Mr. Ashmore be- 
came restless in the silence, and slid about un- 
easily in his seat; but Mr. Nelson did not notice 
this, and did not answer. He seemed to be 
dreaming. At last he took the pipe from his 
mouth and said, very deliberately: "I don't 
reckon I will name a price to-day, gentlemen. 
I can not think of parting with that little patch of 
ground. It was my father's, and I never have 
sold anything that he left me. I am old enough 
to have outgrown that sentiment, I reckon, but I 
have n't done it. Then, it suits me very well to 
keep it; I would n't know how to do without it. 
But I '11 study on it, and if I decide to sell, will 
communicate with Mr. Dodge." 

"But, Nelson, this is a great public improve- 
ment; there 's millions in it for you fellows, mil- 
lions. It '11 make your town bigger' n Nashville. 
We could have went to Columbus with this rail- 
road; they wanted it bad enough; but we wanted 
to boom Kosciusko. Think of it! twenty trains 
a day, each way, will come tooting in here. 
Your house and lot '11 be worth five thousand 
more'n 'tis to-day. Think of it!" poured out 
the so-called capitalist. 

"Then I shall have to sell my old home-place; 
I can not afford to live in a house worth five 
thousand dollars. You upset all my plans for 
the future, and remove all the land-marks that 
bind me to the past. There is no music in the 



408 In the Wake of War 

tooting of a locomotive. I 'd rather hear that 
mocking-bird that whistles for me every time I go 
down to the pasture. To tell you the truth 
bluntly, Mr. Ashmore, I don't feel the pressing 
need of any more railroads; it bothers me to pay 
fare on this one." 

"Oh, Tennessee must have more roads; hain't 
got half enough. You 're way behind the times. 
We must have a great trunk line, from ocean to 
ocean," persisted the boomer. 

"Then Mrs. Nelson will have to go to the 
seashore in summer, and to California in winter. 
That would ruin mc, sure. No, gentlemen, I 
can't see any call for the railroad," answered 
Mr. Nelson, quietly. 

"I'll give you five hundred an acre, by Gov- 
ernment survey," said Ashmore, with a trace of 
disgust in his tone. 

"That is more than five times its value, Mr. 
Ashmore," said Mr. Nelson, after a moment's 
reflection. 

"Will you take a hundred an acre, then?" 
asked Ashmore, quickly. 

' ' I shall have to study over it a few days 
before I name any price." 

' ' Well that beats hell ! ' ' exclaimed the man 
from Chicago, who never had thought that a man 
could own a thing that he would not sell. " I '11 
give you a thousand an acre," he cried, in des- 
peration. 

"You will have to excuse me from naming 
a price to-day, gentlemen," repeated Mr. Nelson, 
without changing tone or expression under this 
fire of enormous sums. 



Kosciusko Threatened with Prosperity 409 

"Yes, yes, think it over, friend Anton; we 
will see you again in a day or two. "We are 
going out to Elmington to see Colonel Grayson, 
and will be back to-morrow or the next day," 
said Dodge, who knew how fruitless it was to 
barter with the conservatism of Mr. Nelson. 

" I shall be glad to see you, gentlemen, at any 
time. My house always is open for friends, if 
not for business." 

When they were out of Mr. Nelson's hearing, 
Ashmore said: "That is just like these damned 
old Eebels. They deserve to have their land 
taken away from them; it ought to be confis- 
cated." 

"But Mr. Nelson is not a Rebel; he is a 
Union man," said Dodge, in his most subdued 
voice. 

" Mebbe, but he hasn't the push of the Rad- 
icals I know in the Legislature," cried Ash- 
more. 

"Perhaps not; he is of another class from 
those vagabonds," Dodge had to confess. 



XLII 

Which Treats of Business Methods under 
Advanced Civilization 

THE regular session of the Legislature opened 
early in November, after an adjournment in 
July. Public measures of great importance to 
the members, if not to the State, kept this linsey- 
woolsey mass of humanity in Nashville the most 
of the year during these troublous days. 

The Southern men who had participated in the 
affairs of the Confederacy had not attempted to 
vote since their return; yet new and more strin- 
gent franchise laws were constantly in demand. 
At first this heroic legislation was thought to be 
prompted by malice, and perhaps it was so; but 
later, when appropriations were to be granted to 
railroads, turnpikes and other projects for internal 
improvements, the true animus was disclosed. 
Those who owned the property and paid the taxes 
found themselves without the one protection 
under a democratic form of government — the 
ballot. 

The Southern man had not appeared at the 
polls since the collapse of the Confederacy; yet 
the County Guards, ostensibly created for the 
protection of the ballot-box, constantly needed 
extension of powers and authority. These pre- 
cautions against treason were heralded by the 
press from ocean to ocean, as examples of the 
wisdom and statesmanship in control of Ten- 
nessee. 

410 



Which Treats of Business Methods 411 

But more than all else, the Yolunteer State 
was at last stai-ted in the great race for material 
prosperity. This required much legislation. Her 
priceless deposits of iron ore, coal and marble 
were attracting the attention of capitalists of a 
certain class; her fertile valleys and abundant for- 
ests had caught the notice of hundreds of men 
who were able to deal in large sums of money — 
on paper. 

The old Commonwealth had been conservative; 
the people born and bred in the midst of all this 
wealth of nature had never sought to force their 
counnodities on the world in advance of a reason- 
able and natural demand. They knew all about 
their unusual resources; but they had not learned 
that coal, iron and marble were perishable; they 
thought these articles of commerce could be used, 
or kept for future generations, at will. 

Not so the adventurous capitalists who now 
swarmed the State, To these industrious per- 
sons the future had no promise; the present time 
was everything. They scoffed at the very men- 
tion of posterity; they scouted the idea of future 
needs and values. 

" What Tennessee needs is railroads and turn- 
pikes ! " they shouted. " With these advantages 
at command, we can drive this coal, iron and mar- 
ble down the very throats of the world, civilized 
and barbarous.''' And they projected their im- 
provements in every quarter. Their lines of rail- 
road led toward every great commercial center, 
although none, in fact, reached the narrow limits 
of the State. 

J. Phillip Ashmore was the acknowledged 



412 In the Wake of War 

leader of this crowd of public benefactors. He 
had a keen eye for hidden wealth, a resourceful 
brain for methods of development, and a genius 
for the calculation and demonstration of sure prof- 
its. His proposed line, the Atlantic, Kosciusko 
and Pacific Railroad, Iron and Coal Company, 
was regarded with much favor in the Legislature. 
Its matchless qualities were well displayed; the 
scheme was thoroughly organized. 

So high was the esteem in which it was held, 
that Mr. Ashmore was granted special privileges 
in the State House. He had at his disposal a 
room opening upon the floor of the House of Rep- 
resentatives, in which to spread his exhibit. Note 
the wonderful strides of civilization ! In the 
sleepy old days of Sevier, or Houston, or Crock- 
ett, or Jackson, or Polk, this room had been 
used by committees for the transaction of public 
business. Here Ashmore hung on the walls his 
maps with yellow borders; he piled bits of iron ore 
in one corner, chunks of coal in another, slabs of 
marble in the third, and set up a saloon in the 
fourth. The last mentioned feature of his exhi- 
bition engrossed the attention of the statesmen; 
they kicked the ore, spat upon the coal heap, stood 
at the bar as long as they could, and when ex- 
hausted by undue sampling of liquors, lolled on 
the marble. 

The leaders of both Houses had committed 
themselves to his scheme during the summer, 
but their followers came around slowly. Some 
seemed to hold off for substantial arguments; 
others found the presence of Mr. Ashmore and 
his campaign material so agreeable that they stood 



Which Treats of Business Methods 413 

for delay. In truth the bar proved so suitable 
that it came near defeating the object for which it 
was brought into being. 

The business man from Chicago was not slow to 
discover the trend of affairs; he saw that he was 
killing his prospects with kindness.' Nothing 
short of a coup would take his measure out 
of the danger of convenient delay. Besides, the 
campaign was expensive, the consumption of liq- 
uors increased daily, as the crowd of hangers-on 
and men about town learned that everything was 
free. 

For a time the bill had gone swimmingly; the 
Senate had disposed of it with less than a dozen 
negative votes, the opposition of a few old fogies 
who had by accident gotten seats in the aristocratic 
body. In the House of Representatives, it had 
passed two readings, but obstructions were now 
beginning to appear. Objections were made to its 
being called up out of regular order, a quorum 
was not present, or the speaker failed to recognize 
the right person at the right time. 

Desperate with this trifling, Ashmore planned 
a master raid. He would pass the bill the follow- 
ing night, or know the reason for further pro- 
crastination. First, the speaker was " fixed," 
sure and safe; then came the member who would 
advance the measure, rough-shod, over all inter- 
vening and obstructing business. But the way 
for this had to be prepared, for there was a leaven 
of decency, even in this damnable collection. 
All friends of the bill must be made ready to act 
on a moment's notice; a day's laxity, in the in- 
terest of free whisky, might give to this weak 



414 In the Wake of War 

minority an advantage that could not be reclaimed 
in months. 

The next morning an extra stock of liquors was 
brought in and deposited behind the bar. 
Arrangements were made for a busy day. The 
lobby was marshalled; each member of this dis- 
creditable power had his work assigned. But the 
man of Chicago breeding, and claiming to prac- 
tice Chicago business methods, was not content 
with these plans. He had claimed all along to 
be the exemplification of a new and advanced 
civilization; a civilization that presumed to lead 
the world with a banner bearing the strange de- 
vice, "I Will." His reputation was at stake, 
for, to this time he had introduced only one 
unusual feature into his tactics — the bar. Every- 
thing else was old and commonplace. In this he 
fully reclaimed himself; for when the members of 
the Third House were organizing and taking 
their several allotted stations, they found their 
forces strangely augmented. Ashmore had 
brought in the women of the town to help in 
carrying his scheme through. This was the first 
appearance of the courtesan in the old State 
House as a political factor; it was not her last 
effort during the years of terror known as Kecon- 
struction. 

Right soon in the morning the urbane bartender 
was busy making cocktails, later on juleps were 
in great demand, and all day long the call of 
"straight" was prosperous. If a member on 
the floor of the House was slow in coming after 
his grog, a lobbyist carried the bottle to his desk 
and poured out his dram. To such a system had 



Which Treats of Business Methods 415 



the Chicago man reduced his arrangements, that 
he knew at the end of every hour the number of 
drinks each of the doubtful members had taken. 
Their capacity, he knew from previous experience. 
As the day wore on, the uproar increased; toward 
night it was deafening. Members were shouting, 
speaking, cursing. 

By night the respectable minority had quit the 
hall in disgust; the procrastinators were, for the 
most part, asleep at their desks. Then the bill 
was called up and put on its final passage. Those 
who were sober enough, voted "aye; " those who 
were too far gone to answer the rapid roll-call, 
were counted as voting "aye." One member, 
a known supporter of the measure, could do no 
more than grunt; but a yellow lobbyist, who held 
the frail brother in his chair, called out in a piping 
voice: "He say, 'yas,' suh." And so the bill 
was passed. 

Later on the Governor signed it, and the State 
had pledged its credit to a railroad that never was 
built, and never was intended to be built, to the 
precious tune of many thousands of dollars per 
mile. Much more than it would have cost. 

All this in the State of Jackson, and Polk, and 
Sevier, and Houston, and Crockett, and a hun- 
dred other as illustrious names. All this in the 
chairs, at the desks, made historic and honorable 
by the presence of these great and good men. 



XLIII 

In Which Two Conservative Gentlemen Are 
Instructed in Business Methods 

EQUIPPED with his charter, J. Phillip Asli- 
more proceeded to the seat of operations to 
organize his company and start work on the rail- 
road. The lively scenes at the Capital had 
proved too mncli for Mr. Dodge's bilious tem- 
perament; he had quietly withdrawn before the 
grand climax, and awaited his principal at Kosci- 
usko. Together they drove to Elmington, for 
Ashmore expected to interest Colonel Grayson 
and Major Lewis in his project. 

"You see," he said, when he had the Major 
in a corner from which there was no retreating, 
"I want the very best men in this town in my 
board of directors. Won't have no cheap fel- 
lers; must have everything first-class, strictly 
first-class. I have General Swanson, at Mem- 
phis; Colonel Jones, at Chattanooga, and General 

somebody, at Charleston, All fi.rst-cla88, 

every one of 'em; they're old officers of the 
Federal army, and have lots of influence. None 
of 'em have money, though; I furnish all that 
from Chicago. Now, what I want, is influence, 
all up and down the line; I have money enough; 
I can finance the scheme in real Chicago style. 
Can I count you in?" 

"I have no money, Mr. Ashmore," answered 

416 



Two Conservative Gentlemen Instructed 417 

Major Lewis, "and never engage in business that 
is beyond my means. I never owed a debt that 
went an hour past due; but if I should go into 
this enterprise I 'd become hopelessly involved. 
There are plenty of men who would be glad to 
join you, but you will have to leave me out." 

"Not a dollar is needed; I shall not put up 
more than my check. See here, Colonel Gray- 
son, come and hear this great offer. 1 want you 
and Major Lewis to go into my company — I 
want you to be incorporators and directors in the 
Atlantic, Kosciusko and Pacific Railroad, L'on 
and Coal Company. It 's a great honor; your 
names '11 be printed on letter-heads, and every- 
thing else. What say you, Colonel?" 

"For myself, I have no money, and times are 
not propitious for going into debt. I thank you 
for the offer, but you will have to excuse me, Mr. 
Ashmore. ' ' 

' ' You Southern fellers beat all I ever seen ; 
you are the slowest to see a chance to get rich 
that I ever seen. Why don't you hustle, like we 
do up in Chicago ? We don't let no grass grow 
under our feet up there. Now's your time to 
make a fortune; I'll make it for you, if you'll 
give me a chance. Now listen; it's just like 
this: I have my charter and the bonus all voted; 
we have to organize our company, subscribe the 
capital stock, and pay down ten per cent of stock 
subscriptions. That 's all. We shall organize 
with ten millions capital, pay in one million in 
checks and take our stock. The bonds will then 
be issued to us, a part of them at least, and then 
we will begin work on our road. You see, these 

27 



418 In the Wake of War 

bonds will be guaranteed by the State; that is 
provided for in my bonus; and we can sell them 
in New York as fast as the printer can run them 
off. For the benefit of having good men in my 
company, I '11 let you in on the ground-floor. 
'Twon't cost you a copper." 

' ' We should have to pay our stock subscrip- 
tions, or ten per cent of them, at once," persisted 
Colonel Grayson, who never had conceived of any 
other way of doing business. 

" Let me tell you again, you pay nothing — 
not a copper. We have to pay in the ten per 
cent before the commissioners will certify to the 
proper organization of the company, and give 
me an order for the first installment of the bonds. 
But we will pay with our checks; whether those 
checks are honored or not, is another matter. 
Don't you see ? But, as they say in the Legisla- 
ture, ' sly as you keep it, ' I named those com- 
missioners. The chairman is your judge, Eng- 
lish. A good fellow, but I loaned him thirty- 
five hundred that he needed to buy a house with. 
He never has offered to pay it back. He will 
certify to anything, so long as I don't press him 
for that thirty-five hundred. Don't you see ? 
It's well I did n't get old Judge Backus, or that 
Judge Florence on the commission. They 're 
reformers. I kept clear of them. Now, all we 
have to do is this: Subscribe the stock, draw 
our checks, elect a board of directors, elect offi- 
cers, get our stock, get an order for the bonds, 
sell our bonds, and begin work — understand, 
hegin work. When we have done a little work 
— when we have begun — we get the balance of 



Two Conservative Gentlemen Instructed 419 

the bonds and sell 'em, and the fortune is made. 
Don't you see ? That 's the way we do business 
in Chicago." 

' ' You will have to excuse me, Mr. Ashmore. 
I am a common planter and can not cope with 
such large undertakings. I shall have to stick 
closely to my crop," said Colonel Grayson. 

"As for me," said Major Lewis, "I can not 
think of making a fortune so quickly — it would 
plumb turn my head," 

" Then you can't say I never gave you a chance 
to get rich. Of course, you won't mention my 
methods; I told you that in strict confidence." 

" We have no occasion to put it on that, Mr. 
Ashmore," said Major Lewis. 

"I see that dinner is served, gentlemen. 
This is a special occasion, Mr. Ashmore. We 
are having a family dinner to-day in celebration 
of the thirtieth anniversary of the marriage of 
Major and Mrs. Lewis. A happy accident caused 
the event to take place here, instead of at Fair- 
fax, otherwise you would not have found us at 
home. We are glad to have you with us, sir." 

" Oh, a wedding dinner ! Just my suit ! The 
last wedding dinner I attended was at Mr. Ad- 
more's, the great pork packer. It was a grand 
affair — presents cost more 'n ten thousand. Full 
dress, even to the waiters. We do things up 
brown, in Chicago. Nothing cheap up there." 

J. Phillip Ashmore was not the man to be cast 
down by the refusal of Major Lewis and Colonel 
Grayson. Mr. Dodge was more tractable, and 
readily subscribed for as large a block of the stock 
as the promoter would allow. Then Shex'iff 



420 In the Wake of War 

Streeter, Provost-Marshal Samson, Agent Bragg, 
and Felix Grayson came forward and lent their 
names and influence — so the organization was 
perfected. Each wrote his check for the requisite 
ten per cent of his subscription, and the Federal 
Government was enriched by the sale of six rev- 
enue stamps that were aflixed to these documents 
of exchange. Beyond that, no money passed, for 
no one of the checks was paid. But they made 
such a formidable array that the commissioners 
certified that everything was correct, and gave the 
order for the first installment of the bonds, which 
were duly guaranteed by the State. 

Everything was ready; the stock certificates 
were printed, the bonds engraved. Ashmore 
took the bonds, bundled off to New York by the 
first train, and placed them on the market. With 
the proceeds of this sale, a survey was made 
covering some fifty miles both east and west from 
Kosciusko, a portion of the right-of-way was se- 
cured, contracts for grading were let, and a large 
number of men were sent to the woods to work 
at cross-ties. A great bustling was made, which 
lasted until the promoter convinced the commis- 
sioners that he was entitled to draw the balance 
of the bond issue, when suddenly there came a 
halt. 

Contractors were not paid, poor men who had 
cut and stacked cross-ties along the right-of-way 
hunted in vain for the treasurer of the Atlantic, 
Kosciusko and Pacific Company. When last seen 
he had the bonds in a carpet-bag, headed toward 
New York. 

The State's credit was given, both for principal 



Two Conservative Gentlemen Instructed 421 

and interest, to the serious extent of a million of 
dollars; and the people who had this to pay, 
through the medium of taxation, were benefited 
only for a few thousand dollars. 

And here the project slumbered for months, 
until the ofiicers at Kosciusko took the matter up 
and secured an additional bonus from Williams 
and other counties along the proposed line, when 
building began anew. This action was no more 
sincere than the first; for as soon as the county 
bonds were issued and disposed of, the whole 
scheme suffered a complete and final collapse. 



XLIV 

The New Citizen Demonstrates His Prerogative 

AFTER pledging, beyond power of redemption, 
. the credit of the State in aid of raih-oads, 
turnpikes, and other schemes for ^internal im- 
provements, no one of which was carried out, 
the Legislature found time to pass the Fifteenth 
Amendment. This final act was not unexpected; 
if the white men and tax-payers had not been pro- 
scribed from exercising like privileges, it would 
not have been odious. 

The first election under the expanded franchise 
came the following August. It was a great holi- 
day. The negroes left the plantations at crack of 
day and congregated in Kosciusko, the only poll- 
ing-place in the County of Williams. A fair elec- 
tion could not be had with less than twenty-five 
polling-places, so wide and long was the county. 
But fairness was not a virtue in those unhappy 
days; it was not sought after. 

As there was no work being done, Manning 
Lewis made a holiday and took Mary Lou for a 
horseback ride. Instead of calling upon some of 
their friends, as was their custom on these rides, 
they turned toward Kosciusko to take a look at 
election methods. 

The County Guards were out in force; the ne- 
gro military company was under arms, and stood 
guard about the old court-house, where the ballot- 
ing was in progress. Manning and Mary Lou 

422 



The New Citizen's Prerogative 423 

made no attempt to approach the scene, but stopped 
their horses fifty yards away to observe the new 
proceeding. A speaker, from an improvised 
platform, harangued the crowd until he was ex- 
hausted, and then another took his place. The 
auditors did not seem to tire. All the speeches 
were anarchistic in sentiment; some were directly 
incendiary. The principal theme was the division 
of land and mules, and the expulsion of the na- 
tive-born whites. This subject, for all its delays 
and disappointments, seemed always fresh and 
entertaining to the ignorant blacks. 

Printed ballots were spread on the upturned 
side of a huge goods box. The voter came up to 
select or receive his ticket. As not one per cent 
of the colored men could read, they asked for a 
ticket bearing the name of some particular candi- 
date for whom they wanted to vote. There were 
two tickets in the field: the Radical, representing 
the State administration ; the Union Conservative, 
representing the better element of Union men in 
the South. The former party was in power; its 
emissaries managed the election. 

The whites selected their ballots at will, and 
deposited them in the box without interruption. 
But the negroes were handed the Radical ticket, 
regardless of their wishes. Then they were forced 
to run the gauntlet between two files of watchers 
from the ranks of the Radical party, and to show 
their ballots to each regulator as they passed. If 
by any chance Cuffy had secured a Union Conserv- 
ative ticket, it was promptly torn in pieces and the 
proper one substituted. 

At the ballot-box, the ticket was again exam- 



424 In the Wake of War 

ined by Kadical officers, and if satisfactory, it was 
deposited. Some little disturbance was made by 
a few persistent negroes who wanted to vote for 
"Mars Anton." These fellows were quickly dis- 
ciplined, and if they yielded slowly to this cor- 
rection, were thrown out of line. But all were 
anxious to exercise the glorious privilege of elect- 
ive franchise, and so refractory ones eschewed 
their purpose to honor Anton Nelson, or any can- 
didate on the Union Conservative ticket. Nearly 
every black man voted; all voted according to 
instructions. 

So strenuously did the Radicals bully the poor, 
ignorant blacks, that the opposition candidates 
received, or counted, less than a score of votes. 
Mr. Nelson, as candidate for the Legislature, was 
defeated overwhelmingly by J. Phillip Ashmore, 
although the latter was not a citizen of Tennessee, 
and had never been in Williams County ten days 
at one time. For months he had been in New 
York with his bonds. But his record was no dis- 
qualification. 

Manning and Mary Lou sat on their horses for 
some minutes, at a respectful distance, watching 
these proceedings. They made no move to inter- 
fere; no comments, except to each other. But 
their presence was noted, for an officer came out 
and spoke a few words to a black fellow in uni- 
form, a member of the colored company. He 
marched down tlie street and rudely ordered them 
away: " Dis ain' no place fo' Rebels," he cried. 

They turned their horses to go in obedience to 
this demand, when the negro pricked with the 
point of his bayonet the old war horse on which 



The New Citizen's Prerogative 425 

Mary Lou was mounted. The animal reared, 
nearly throwing her from the saddle. Manning 
whirled on the impudent rascal, but being unarmed 
he yielded to the pleading of Mary Lou and rode 
away. The crowd shouted and jeered; the negro 
soldiers threw their caps in the air. It was a 
great victory. 

On their way home they met Paul Willston, to 
whom they related the adventure of the day. 

" Well, where ? " asked Paul. 

"On the Bluff," answered Manning. 

"The hour?" 

" Usual hour." 

When they reached Elmington, Manning went 
in search of Howard ; Mary Lou gave her father 
a narrative of her observations at Kosciusko. 

' ' I have been curious for some time to know 
how the negro would vote," said Colonel Gray- 
son, when he had heard the details of the meth- 
ods practiced at that first day's election. "He 
can not read his ballot, he can not know who are 
up for the offices, nor can he judge of the qualifi- 
cations of the several candidates. This day has 
set the precedent; these officers, who are the legal 
guardians of the colored man, have made the 
rule. The poor black man will be simply the 
creature of the dominant political party. He 
either will vote with the party in power, as he did 
to-day, or he will find it convenient not to vote at 
all. When our political disabilities are removed, 
we shall make use of him exactly as you saw the 
Radicals do in Kosciusko. It will be a nasty 
business, but our people will do it; they will find 
excuses in the precedent set by the Radicals. It 
is a bad beginning." 



XLV 

In Which Mystic Den Meets a Foe 

1'^HE night was dark and rainy; the whole can- 
. opy was overcast with heavy, low-hanging 
clouds. Every reflector in the heavens was hid- 
den; Erebus had spread a misty pall over every 
twinkler in his starry domain, Nature was 
hushed, as if depressed into eternal repose. The 
mocking-bird must have forgotten the day-songs, 
for he whistled not a note. The owl and the 
bat, of all animate nature, were alert; the one 
screeched, the other circled and darted about, as 
if to prove their sovereignty over gloom. 

It was one of those nights in which colors 
shrink and lose their quality; only form could be 
distinguished, and that indefinitely. The path 
through the dense forest on -the slope leading to 
the Bluff was as easily traced as the open high- 
way. And yet men were abroad. Mystic Den 
had an afPair on, and men were out to give it 
attention. 

The breaking of dead twigs on the ground 
noted the approach of a horseman. When he 
reached the open on the Bluff he made the click- 
click sign of the order; but there was no re- 
sponse. He waited a minute; the cracking of 
twigs announced the approach of another horse 
with muffled feet. Click-click, came from the 
wood; the signal was answered by a like click- 
click in the open. The rider reined his horse 

426 



Mystic Den Meets a Foe 427 

alongside the first to come. No word was 
spoken. The first to arrive struck a match and 
looked at his watch; it lacked ten minutes of 
eleven o'clock. 

Within the space of ten minutes, eighteen other 
horsemen rode in, each giving the click-click sig- 
nal as he came near the rendezvous, which was 
answered bj those already in line. And yet no 
word was spoken. The one who had first arrived 
seemed to keep count, for as the twentieth rider 
gave the signal, he rode from the head of the line 
to a position in front, scratched another match, 
consulted his watch, and said: "The hour has 
come. From left to right, count." 

They counted, but in a symbol of their own; 
there were nineteen in the line. The lighted 
match showed all to be dressed in the flowing 
gown of the order. 

The leader then stated the purposes of the meet- 
ing: To avenge the outrage practiced by the negro 
soldiers that afternoon. 

"What shall be the punishment?" he asked. 

"May it please the Grand Cyclops," said one, 
near the centre of the line, "I suggest that we 
give these offenders ten lashes each." 

' ' May it please the Grand Cyclops, make it 
twenty," cried another. 

' ' Twenty lashes, ' ' echoed nearly every voice 
in a muffled tone. 

"Fifteen lashes each, is the decree," said the 
leader. 

"Fifteen lashes each, is the decree. So says 
the Grand Cyclops, and he must be obeyed," said 
nineteen husky voices in unison. 



428 In the Wake of War 

"Follow," commanded the leader, turning his 
horse and striking off through the wood in the 
direction of Kosciusko. 

The horses stumbled and floundered over the 
rough surface of the woods-lot at a rattling gait, 
and were soon in the turnpike. Neither horses 
nor riders seemed to regard the blackness of the 
night. Had the moon reflected her full light, had 
every star in the dome of the heavens sent down 
its spark, these determined men would have rid- 
den the same. To that Silent Army, lights and 
shadows were the most trifling of incidents. 

Down the pike they swept at a killing pace, 
until Kosciusko was reached. Here a few flicker- 
ing street-lamps relieved the murky night, and 
they silently formed into two squads, each in the 
general shape of a star. The Grand Cyclops rode 
well in advance, followed by the Grand Ensign 
carrying the banner of the Den. This was a new 
standard, wrought in silk, with the insignia of the 
order handsomely embroidered by hand. It had 
never before been flung to the night-breeze. 
Where it came from, no one seemed to know; no 
one asked. The Silent Army never asked ques- 
tions. 

The old town was asleep, save for a few drunken 
negroes who were struggling to get to their homes. 
These the Silent Riders did not notice; the leader 
headed toward the improvised town, the quarter 
inhabited by the freedmen. 

As they reached the public square, they saw 
the smouldering embers of camp-tii-es; the colored 
men had been celebrating their full admission of 
citizenship. The troop either suspected nothing 



Mystic Den Meets a Foe 429 

or feared nothing from this, for it rode straight 
ahead. 

Turning a corner in the open space, they passed 
between the court-house and a street lamp, when 
a volley of musketry cut the heavy air. With a 
groan, the leader rolled from his horse. The 
Grand Ensign dropped the banner over his form. 

" One, seven, nine, watch over the Grand 
Cyclops ; the other Ghouls follow me, ' ' cried the 
Grand Ensign, in an instant. The three men in- 
dicated sprang from their horses and raised the 
form of their fallen leader to a sitting posture. 

"Howard!" gasped the fallen man, for the 
moment forgetting the disguise. 

"Halt, Ghouls!" commanded the Grand En- 
sign, dropping from his horse. ' ' Yes, Man- 
ning, " he whispered, kneeling beside his old 
comrade, "are you hurt ? " 

"No, not hurt; only killed. Leave me; dis- 
arm the negroes. They are running; leave me, 
Howard; go on, go on. Oh, God ! to have lived 
through a dozen battles, only to be shot down in 
the dark — by a nigger. ' ' And the head of the 
leader sank to his breast. 

The squad waited no longer, but charged down 
the street after the fleeing blacks. 

Without heed of the darkness or thought of 
another ambuscade, they pursued, through streets 
and alleys, the black men who had made good 
time during the moment of delay. At the old 
wooden bridge the freedmen attempted to rally 
and make a stand. But the officer could not form 
them. He lined three ranks, but they broke 
away; some pitched their guns into the Opal and 



430 In the Wake of War 

slunk into the darkness; others more brave, stood 
the ground, but shifted for themselves. Nearer 
and nearer came the hoof-beats of the Silent 
Riders. 

Despairing of order and not knowing what else 
to do, the commanding officer bawled out: "Hi, 
thar, stop or we shoots ! " 

The pursuers disregarded the threat, and 
charged straight into the crowd. The negroes 
did not shoot; thej threw down their guns with- 
out a word of protest, and dropping on their knees, 
pleaded for mercy. 

Sixteen great whips were drawn from beneath 
sixteen flowing gowns, and for a little time did 
painful execution over the shoulders of the mis- 
creants within reach. The new citizen was still a 
slave; he could not defend himself. After the 
chastisement had been called off, the colored 
men were ordered to disperse, only the leader 
was detained. 

A few words were spoken: " Take off his coat 
and breeches; they're the Federal uniform," 
said the Grand Ensign. A short and unequal 
struggle followed; then all was quiet. 

The men in flowing robes went silently back to 
the square, took up the body of their fallen leader, 
and moved quietly toward the north. 

The next morning the body of a negro was 
found swinging from a halter-strap beneath the 
old bridge. His arms were pinioned with whip 
lashes, and on his breast was pinned a card bear- 
ing the cabalistic * * . It was the ambitious 
leader of the colored militia. 



Mystic Den Meets a Foe 431 

In a bundle, carefully folded, was the Federal 
uniform that the foolish man had disgraced in his 
blind zeal. The men who wrote the history of 
this event and affixed to their work the claim of 
authenticity, forgot to mention this one act of 
respect for the Federal Government. Nor was 
this their only sin of omission. 



XLVI 

Uncle Phil's Last Baptizing 

APEEIOD of guerrilla warfare followed the 
shooting of Manning Lewis. The negroes 
took small part in this. They were afraid to 
meet any foe; a mysterious one was little less 
than supernatural and could not be thought of. 
But the members of the County Guards returned 
naturally to their old occupation; it suited them 
so well that they neglected their official duties as 
teasers for the Carpet-Baggers. 

The Silent Army suffered many an ambuscade, 
and lost many a good man. They complained 
not at this; they took it as the fair outcome of 
their own acts. The contest was furious. The 
County Guards were such masters in this diabol- 
ical art of sneaking, that for a time it looked as if 
they would drive the Silent Army from the field. 
But intelligence soon overmatched brute cunning, 
and the natural-born bushwhackers were pushed 
to that extremity that they had either to quit the 
contest or give to their operations a new feature. 
This they did by outraging negroes in a manner 
that left suspicion on the Order of the Two Stars. 

Those who suffei-ed most keenly from this turn 
in affairs were black men who had remained with 
their masters and had declined the advice and sup- 
port of the Freed men' 8 Bureau. Because they 
had refused to become loafers, they had been 
regarded all along as traitors to their political 
guardians. Many harmless negroes suffered the 

432 



Uncle Phil's Last Baptizing 433 

extreme penalty for non-conformity to the or- 
dained scheme of political salvation. And the 
newspaper correspondents recorded all this against 
the Order of the Two Stars, 

As soon as the Guards began this reflex move- 
ment, the Silent Army doubled its vigil. These 
faithful servants had become surpassingly endeared 
by their devotion through adverse fortune. Had 
the two opposing forces met at this time, either 
the Carpet-Baggers would have out-run the Silent 
Army, or there would have been fought a battle 
of extermination. The County Guards well knew 
the temper of their foe, as well as its habits. 
Accordingly they made their depredatory raids on 
foot through field and wood where horsemen could 
not pursue, and would not be met with. 

This serious business lasted for several months 
and might have continued much longer, only that 
the ofiicers overshot the mark. The act that 
brought on the climax, and marked the limit of 
cruelty in that cruel aggregation, occurred on a 
bitter night of mid-winter, when the heavens were 
lowering with snow-clouds. A dozen of the 
Guards, with feet muffled in rags and faces 
masked, came across lots to Elmington. Pleas 
was to be their victim, if he could be overtaken 
safely remote from home. But chance favored 
Pleas; he was not abroad. They dared not, for 
all the darkness, venture within gun-shot of the 
house. So, after they had waited about in the 
cold, they started toward Kosciusko, sore and dis- 
appointed. At the Opal, Brassley had an idea. 

"Thar's thet ole preacher, Phil; les' thrash 
him; he nerr was beat like other niggers." 

28 



4-34 In the Wake of War 

Their mood was savage; any sanguinary pro- 
posal would have carried. They made for Uncle 
Phil's cabin, broke in the door, and dragged him 
from bed with great noise and vulgar threats. 
The old man made no resistance; he showed little 
alarm. True to her nature, Aunt Manda fought 
like a tigress; but she was quickly overpowered 
and tied hand and foot. Without allowing him 
to dress, they hustled Uncle Phil into the cold. 
His old feet were bare, but he walked on the fro- 
zen clods with little complaint. Zack Brassley, 
who was in command, gave orders that the old 
man be baptized. He clearly forgot himself and 
spoke in his natural voice. 

" Dat am yo', Zack Brassley," said Uncle 
Phil. " Doan perfane de sacrimint; kill me if 
yo' wants to, but spar' de sacrimint." 

" We '11 hev to kill him, now," cried Brassley, 
"he'll tell on us. Wall, les' duck him fust." 

A hole was cut through the ice on the pool 
where Uncle Phil had so many times adminis- 
tered baptism to his people; and two lusty scoun- 
drels, one standing on either side of this, holding 
him by the arms, lowered him under and then 
lifted his drenched body into the frosty air. 
Again and again this was repeated amid the 
laughter and curses of the heartless tormentors; 
and each time, as the old man was going down, 
he said, calmly and fervently: "In de name of 
de Father " 

When the diabolical malice of the persecutors 
had been somewhat satisfied they dragged their 
poor victim out and ordered him to stand. But 
his legs refused to support him. His scanty 



Uncle Phil's Last Baptizing 435 

night clothing was frozen stiff. He dropped 
upon the ice, a shivering mass. With great 
effort he clasped his hands together, and in a 
trembling voice said: "Let us praj: ' Ou' Father 

which art in heaven ' ' ' Instantly there was 

silence. The tormentors dropped back; they 
could not listen to the Lord's Prayer. This act 
of piety, so natural and characteristic in the old 
man, brought him quick relief; for the darkness 
was cut with a bright flash, the stillness was 
shocked with a pistol report, and Uncle Phil 
prayed no more. 

It was another vicarious atonement, for soon 
after the torture of Uncle Phil, coming as it did 
when the night of this chaos was blackest, light 
began to break. The County Guards had for 
months so neglected their political functions that 
they had become useless to the Carpet-Baggers 
and the Federal officers. Now they were hunted 
by the Silent Army until they dared not show 
themselves, and were clearly in the way. But 
they strove to hold their place within the party 
organization. They did not want to be politically 
lost. In attempting to maintain their standing, 
they quarrelled with the Carpet-Baggers over 
spoils; they refused to go out of doors to do the 
dirty work of the Federal officers. 

This condition was quickly followed by crim- 
inations and recriminations — the brawl was in- 
curable. For once, spoils lost their cohesive 
power. The spoilsmen, who depended the one on 
the other, fought like cats and dogs. 

Then the party that had brought forth and 
fondled these vipers, sickened on the disgrace. 



436 In the Wake of War 

The brutal franchise laws were changed, and the 
white man of the South again took the ballot in 
his hand. To what extent he emulated the con- 
duct of the Radicals in controlling the negroes' 
vote, it is not the province of this tale to relate. 
It would have been unusual, indeed, if the re- 
stored citizen had not availed himself of every 
expedient that would again place the administra- 
tive power in other hands than those that had so 
wantonly misruled for six years — misrule that 
cost the South more heartaches than four years of 
war; more fortune than the support of its own 
and an invading army. That subject deals with 
quite another epoch in our history. With the 
decline of the rule of Carpet-Baggers, this narra- 
tive must close. 

This change in sight, the Silent Army was dis- 
banded as quietly as it had been organized. The 
twenty-eight months of its existence had been 
troublous and exciting months. Those who had 
engaged in it were well tired of the strain, and 
were glad to have it put away; 

Other secret orders sprang into existence, one 
for each unsettled grudge. These had no general 
organization; they were wholly lawless and preda- 
tory. But their acts were charged to the Order 
of the Two Stars, even after it had ceased to be. 



XLVII 

A War-Widow 

AGAIN the wheat and the oats were harvested, 
. and corn was so far advanced that work on it 
was ' ' laid by. ' ' Again the procession of pleasure- 
seekers had driven down the turnpike and turned 
into the old Military Road on its way to the Plain 
of Tempe. The company was small; some of 
those composing it were serious; but all were con- 
tented. All evidences of war were disappearing; 
the wretched period of half war, half peace, was a 
memory. One bright summer's evening when all 
were settled in the Plain, Howard Grayson, his 
wife, and his sister, were sitting on the porch 
of their cabin. The day's mail had just been 
brought into camp by Pleas, and Major Lewis 
sauntered over to get his portion from the budget 
— a copy of the daily "American." 

" Now, Howard, don't get a chair for me; I 'm 
not to sit down and gossip this blessed evening 
away. I have orders. Mrs. Lewis has engaged 
to read the political news to your father and me 
over at St. Lewis's hut, and I 'm instructed to 
hurry back. 'O'ders is O'ders,' as a distin- 
guished Radical politician had a habit of saying, 
once upon a time, and I have ever since made it 
a point not to trifle with them. Then, the Colonel 
and I are hungry for political sustenance. We 've 
discussed yesterday's instalment and have it thor- 
oughly digested, agreeing to only one proposition 

437 



438 In the Wake of War 



— to disagree. He thinks Grant will do the 
right thing by the South; I think Grant won't 
have a thing to do about it — the politicians will 
do for us what seems expedient, which is equiva- 
lent to saying that we shall get the butt end of the 
stick. And I'm right, as usual. Remarkable, 
we never did fully agree; yet in more than forty 
years we never have quarreled — which proves 
that I 'm a peaceable man." 

The Major had taken the proffered seat; he was 
in a mood to talk. The Graysons were engaged 
with their mail. 

" I reckon I 'm getting old, ' ' mused the Major, 
trying to focus his eyes on the newspaper, '■ ' I 
can't tell heads from tails without glasses. Far- 
don me. Miss Mary Lou, I did n't aim to inter- 
rupt you; I was sort of studying aloud." 

' ' I think it is a good time for some of the fam- 
ily to apologize for your neglect. Major Lewis," 
said Mary Lou, looking about her. ' ' Here we 
all sit reading our mail without so much as ' excuse 
me.' I 'd rather listen to your talk than to read 
a letter any time. How delightful the Plain is, 
after these years of absence." 

^'I 've been here more than forty summers and 
it never before looked so charming. The wrath 
and fury that have been rampant the past six 
years have left no frown on the face of nature 
here. You see man was not here to furrow and 
seam it with angry lines. Old Mount Ossa looks 
as smiling as ever; Olympus never had a more 
cool or more fragrant breath. I 'm glad there 
are no marks of man's passions here, except those 
we carry on our hearts. ' ' 



A War-Widow 439 

Howard had finished his letter, and sat thought- 
ful and serious. 

"Well, young man, what's the trouble now? 
Knitted brows are not in style at the Plain," said 
the Major. 

"I 've just finished a letter from an old friend 
of both our families, saying he wants to return to 
Tennessee to visit us, especially Little Sister. As 
he says, he ' wonders ' if he will be well received. " 

"If he is a friend of this family, he can bet his 
eternal salvation he will be cordially received. If 
he 's a friend of the Lewises, he '11 have to take 
his chances," said the Major. 

" Who could ask such a question?" enquired 
Mary Lou. 

' ' Captain — now Colonel — Avery, ' ' answered 
Howard. 

"He is a gentleman, a man of courage; I'd 
love to see him again," said the Major, rising 
from his seat. 

" We remember Captain Avery very pleasantly; 
why should we not receive him kindly?" asked 
Mary Lou. 

"But he put the matter a bit stronger than I 
quoted," said Howard. 

Major Lewis started to leave, saying: "I think 
Mrs. Lewis waved her hand for me to come home. 
I don't dare to stay longer. Good-evening, for 
now, ' ' and he walked quickly away. Evidently 
he did not care to hear more. 

' ' I can not make my aaswer any stronger, 
Howard,'' said Mary Lou, after the Major was out 
of hearing. 

"Then you are content with our quiet little life; 



440 In the Wake of war 

satisfied to remain the sweetest sister in all the 
world ? ' ' asked Howard, 

"If I could think myself that. Life is very 
delightful with you, and Margaret, and father. 
Don't think I am getting old; don't fear that you 
will have an old maid on your hands. I never 
shall be one. I went from girlhood to — widow- 
hood. I am a war-widow." 

" Poor Manning ! " sighed Howard. 

"No, Brother; you did not know it, but that 
could never have been. Not poor Manning — 
The Cause." 

The End. 



RARE BOOK 
COLLECTION 



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